Published: Wed, December 28, 2016
Research | By Elizabeth Houston

China for Peaceful Use of Outer Space

The spacecraft will perform geological and topographic surveys on lunar samples and will also carry out low-frequency radio astronomy observations on the landing area on the far side of the moon, the white paper said.

The white paper also repeated a plan to launch its first Mars probe by 2020 and to land the first probe ever on the dark side of the moon in 2018, but gave no details about a previously mooted goal of landing a Chinese person on the moon by 2036.

China announced Tuesday it plans to land probes on Earth's moon and Mars by 2020.

Investment is welcome for commercial rocket development, satellite research, manufacturing and for applying aerospace technologies to public welfare, Wu Yanhua, vice minister of China National Space Administration, said at a press briefing in Beijing on Tuesday. The Chinese space program also intends to "conduct research into major scientific questions such as the origin and evolution of the solar system, and search for extraterrestrial life", the white paper added, according to the Washington Post. The country's military-backed space program has made significant progress in the last few years.

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"To explore the vast cosmos, develop the space industry and build China into a space power is a dream we pursue unremittingly", the white paper said. It didn't elaborate on the national security part, but China included nuclear weapon development and missiles as part of the history of its space program. "In the next five years and beyond China will uphold the concepts of innovative, balanced, green, open and shared development, and promote the comprehensive development of space science, space technology and space applications, so as to contribute more to both serving national development and improving the well-being of mankind".

To recall, China put its first step in the space industry in 2003 by launching its first manned space mission which later followed by multiple spacewalks, rover landing on the moon, and the launch of two investigational space stations. It seems, the ultimate aim of China will be folded up by making a symbolic landing of an astronaut on the surface of the moon.

China also plans to set up its permanent space station by 2022.China also plans to launch a hard X-ray modulation telescope to study the matter dynamics and high-energy radiation processes in the strong gravitational field of compact celestial bodies and black holes.

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