China to build moon station in ‘about 10 years’

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  1. China has planned to send a manned mission to moon and to build a scientific research station there in “about 10 years”. The China National Space Administration (CSNA) intends to build the research station in the region of the moon’s South Pole.
  2. China has also planned to launch a Mars probe by 2020. The country also confirmed that a fourth lunar probe, the Chang’e-5, will be launched by the end of 2019. The mission seeks to collect moon samples. The mission was originally scheduled for 2017 but got delayed after its planned carrier, Long March 5 Y2 rocket, failed during a separate launch.
  3. Recently, China took a major step in international scientific exploration of the Moon after its Chang’ e-4 mission landed its rover on the far side of the moon. Chang’e 4 is a part of China’s Lunar Exploration programme. It is the second Chinese probe to land on the moon following the Yutu rover mission in 2013.
  4. China has also announced that its Tiangong or “Heavenly Palace”, a space station, will go into orbit in 2022. It is set to replace the International Space Station (ISS) which is due to be retired in 2024. ISS is a habitable artificial satellite, in low Earth orbit. The ISS programme is a joint project among five participating space agencies: NASA (USA), Roscosmos (Russia), JAXA (Japan), ESA (European Union) and CSA (Canada).
  5. Recently, China had also announced that it would launch an asteroid exploration mission and invited collaborators to place their experiments on the probe.
  6. Currently, China spends more on its civil and military space programmes than Russia and Japan. In terms of spending it is only next to USA.