China plans first manned mission to Mars in 2033 | Science and technology news

The ambitious goal is part of a plan to build a base on the Red Planet, in an intensifying space rivalry with the United States.

China plans to send its first manned mission to Mars in 2033, with regular follow-up flights, as part of a long-term plan to build a permanently manned base on the Red Planet and extract its resources. .

The ambitious plan, which will step up a race with the United States to send humans to Mars, was first disclosed in detail after China landed a robotic rover on Mars in mid-May in his inaugural mission to the planet.

Crewed launches to Mars are slated for 2033, 2035, 2037, 2041 and beyond, chief Chinese rocket maker Wang Xiaojun recently told a conference on space exploration in Russia by link. video.

Before the crewed missions begin, China will send robots to Mars to study possible sites for the base and build systems there to extract resources, the official China Space News reported on Wednesday, citing Wang, who heads the base. ‘Chinese Academy of Launchers Technology.

For human habitation on Mars, crews should be able to use the planet’s resources, such as extracting water from below its surface, generating oxygen on-site, and generating electricity.

China also needs to develop technology to bring astronauts back to Earth.

An unmanned round-trip mission to acquire soil samples from the planet is expected by the end of 2030.

NASA, the US space agency, has developed technology to bring a crew to Mars and return to the 2030s.

China’s Mars Plan envisions fleets of spacecraft shuttling between Earth and Mars and major development of its resources, Wang said.

To shorten travel time, spacecraft should harness the energy released by nuclear reactions in the form of heat and electricity, in addition to traditional chemical thrusters, Wang said.

China is expected to make round trips with a total flight time of “a few hundred days,” he said.

China is also considering setting up a base at the Moon’s south pole and deploying robotic expeditions to asteroids and Jupiter around 2030.

Last week, China sent three astronauts to an unfinished space station on its first crewed mission since 2016, expanding its growing presence near Earth and challenging U.S. leadership in orbital space.

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