Chinese astronauts Tang Hongbo, Nie Haisheng and Liu Boming speak with Chinese President Xi Jinping from the Chinese space station core module Tianhe Photograph:( AFP )
The timetable for the Mars mission stretches over a ten year period from 2033 to 2043. The country has poured billions of dollars into its space project as it tries to catch up with the United States and Russia.
As China's astronauts left for the new space station last week, Wang Xiaojun, the head of China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT), revealed the country's Mars ambition at the Global Space Exploration Conference (GLEX 2021)
Wang Xiaojun in a "plan for future Mars expedition" said that in the first phase Mars sample will be collected followed by a manned mission to the Red Planet and the building of a Mars base, according to China's state-run Global Times.
In the final step, China will undertake "Earth-Mars cargo fleet and large scale development of the Red Planet", the state-run Global Times quoted the Chinese scientist as saying.
The timetable for the Mars mission stretches over a ten year period from 2033 to 2043. The country has poured billions of dollars into its space project as it tries to catch up with the United States and Russia
In 2016, China had launched its second orbital lab - the Tiangong-2 with ambitions to build a base on the Moon. China's space agency had said it plans to launch a crewed lunar mission by 2029.
The country's Chang'e-4 robot had landed on the far side of the Moon two years ago which was followed by China hosting its flag on the lunar surface.
China's Tianwen-1 had sent back the first images of Mars in February reaching another milestone. China's latest project which is underway is intended to keep its presence in space for the next ten years as the astronauts dock with the core Tianhe module.
The country is currently building its space station Tiangong which will need several missions for total assembly although it won't be on the same scale as the International Space Station(ISS) even though Beijing has said it is open to international collaboration.