03:15 GMT29 January 2020
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    China plans to land a rover on Mars when the opportunity presents itself in 2020, the country’s chief aerospace engineer said Friday.

    BEIJING (Sputnik) — Ye Peijian, the chief designer of the country’s state lunar exploration mission, said that Mars makes a close approach to Earth every 28 months, presenting a short window of opportunity for a probe launch.

    "We will not make it by 2018 but we can try to launch a probe in 2020," Ye Peijian was quoted by the Sina news website as saying.

    The scientist said earlier that China had all the technology it needed for a successful launch.

    China has been eyeing the Red Planet after it put a rover on the Moon in 2013. Its ambitious space program also includes a permanent space station and manned flights to the Moon and Mars.


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    space exploration, Mars, Moon, China
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