China: We will be on Mars by the end of 2020
China is aiming to own the race for space in the next decade, CNN reports.
China's ambitious and fast-growing space program is targeting a landing on the dark side of the moon by 2018, and reaching Mars before the end of the decade.
The country's space agency held a press conference on Tuesday to mark the release of a policy paper, and outlined the government's ambitious goals for exploring deep space.
Wu Yanhua, deputy chief of the National Space Administration, said Beijing aims to launch its first Mars probe around 2020 to carry out orbiting and roving exploration, followed by a second mission that would include collection of surface samples from the red planet.