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China to launch 1st Mars probe in 2013 People's Daily Online

Qi Faren, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and chief designer of Shenzhou spaceships, indicated on Jan. 16 that China is expected to launch the first Mars probe in 2013.
The probe, Yinghuo-1(YH-1), was due to blast off in October 2009 with Russia’s “Phobos Explorer” from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, but the launch was postponed.
Qi Faren disclosed that China and Russia will launch the first Mars probe this year. By 2013, there will be a minimum distance between the Mars and the Earth, which will be a good time to launch the Mars probe. If this opportunity is missed, China will have to wait several years to launch another. Therefore, China will consider launching its first Mars probe independently.