China Plans Mars Rover When for a 2020 Launch Window
Last Friday, Ye Peijian, the chief designer of China's lunar exploration program, told a Chinese News Agency that the country plans to land a rover on Mars when the opportunity presents itself in 2020.
As Peijian said:
We will not make it by 2018 but we can try to launch a probe in 2020.
Mars launch windows occur about every 28 months using standard Hohmann transfer orbits, but Peijian does not believe China can meet a 2018 launch, but 2020 seems likely. Especially, as pointed out earlier, China has all the technology it needs for a successful launch.
China has been eyeing the Red Planet since 2013 when it landed the YUTU (Jade Rabbit) rover on the moon - an extremely successful venture that continues to operate to this day.
And Mars is just another step in the country's ambitious space program, which also includes a permanent space station and eventually manned flights to both the Moon and Mars.
No details were given on what the rover would carry or what it would look like.
Source: Sputnik News
Header image: Chinese lunar lander. Credit AFP/Peter Parks