China plans more Mars probes before 2030
Beijing: China is planning a three-phase Mars space mission to collect samples from the Red Planet by 2030, the chief scientist of the country's lunar orbiter project said today.
The three stages are remote sensing, soft-landing, exploration and return after collecting automatic sampling, Ouyang Ziyuan said at a lecture organised by Chinese Society of Astronautics.
Ouyang also briefed on the tests of China's lunar probe of the Chang'e-3, a moon-landing orbiter expected to be launched in the second half of 2013, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
The Chang'e-3 programme could help build a telecommunication network that covers a future Mars probe, Ouyang said.
He said that Chang'e-5 was expected to return to earth with samples from the moon.