China is getting closer to putting a man on the moon, one of the key goals of its space exploration plan.
In 2016, China confirmed its intentions to pursue a successful manned lunar project. China’s state media reported this week that it would “not take long” before Beijing approved the plan.
According to Yang Liwei, deputy director general of China Manned Space Agency, the country is making “preliminary preparations” for a manned lunar mission.
— China Xinhua News (@XHNews) June 6, 2017
The Xinhua news agency reported that Yang, who was China’s first man in space in 2003, told attendees at the Global Space Exploration Conference in Beijing this week that “it will not take long for the project to get official approval and funding.”
The report noted that “Wu Yansheng, president of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), also said that China is working on a manned lunar landing plan.”
Citing Wu, Xinhua reported that the mission will consist of a manned spaceship, a propulsion vehicle and a lunar lander.
In 2003, China became the third country to send a man into space utilizing its own rocket, following the former Soviet Union and the United States.
In 2013, China became the third country to complete a lunar rover mission.
Another goal of China’s space exploration plan is to land the first probe on the dark side of the moon in 2018.
China’s space program is viewed as a symbol of its rising global stature and technological capabilities.
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