China aims to send probe to Mars by 2020 China Daily

China, not content with the closest views of Mars man has glimpsed since the Stone Age, is hoping to launch a space probe to the red planet by 2020, state newspapers said on Friday. The probe would orbit Mars and conduct tests on the planet’s makeup and atmosphere, the Beijing Youth Daily quoted Liu Zhenxing, a fellow at the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Space Science and Applied Research Institute, as saying. China is planning to send an astronaut into space for the first time later this year and become the third country to accomplish that feat, after the former Soviet Union and the United States.