Recently, the desire of the People’s Republic of China to see not just to enter the space arena, but to become its leader, is becoming ever clearer. This was confirmed by the last lunar mission and hinted at this ambitious Martian plans.
Chinese space program
The earliest serious American projects on aeronautics began in 1915, and the space program USSR in 1921-m. It is not surprising that these two countries became the main participants in the space race, which in the 20th century actively promoted the development of technology and space exploration.
The Chinese space program began only in 1956 (the world's first satellite from the USSR was launched in 1957). The country started rather late, therefore it was forced to take third place in space exploration all the time. China has learned to return the third satellites, is also considered the third space superpower.
According to research on asteroids and sending spacecraft, the Chinese also had to catch up with the United States and the USSR, and then Russia, for a long time. But in 2011 the situation began to change. China created its first orbital station and bypassed America in terms of the number of space launches. And in 2018, a new leader was born in front of us - 37 launches per year. It was time to be at least something first, and the Chinese decided to send all their forces to the moon.
6-wheeled 140-kg moonwalker "Yuytu-2" ("Jade hare-2"), 1, 5 m long, 1 m wide, about 1, 1 meter high, coming down from the platform
Research began in 2007 with the launch of mission Chang'e-1. But the real breakthrough was the first landing in the world on the dark side of the Moon. This was the Chinese mission Chang'e-4, which was realized only on January 3, 2019. The whole world was able to enjoy the first pictures from the surface.
In addition, the apparatus and the lunar rover are still continuing research, noting a colder temperature at night than on the “front” side, and a possible difference in the composition of the soil. The next mission is to collect lunar soil and deliver it to Earth. Let's not forget about the magnificent biological experiment, where on the lunar surface in a special container the seed of cotton sprouted.
But this is not the end. Already in 2020 manned flights to the moon are planned (the Chinese will be the second after the Americans to set foot on the lunar surface), and in 2050th - the creation of a base on the satellite.
Plans for Mars
An ambitious China cannot deprive the Red Planet of attention. The first attempt occurred as early as in 2011. But the artificial satellite Inho-1 fell into the Earth’s ocean. Now everything has to change. In 2020 it is planned to launch the first Chinese rover to Mars. Of course, first a probe must be put into orbit that will guarantee uninterrupted communication. If everything works out, then this device will become the third functioning mechanism on the Martian surface (only Curiosity and InSight are now working). The main goal is to do geological research. We started talking about this mission a few years ago, but only now the first details appear.
Analyzing recent successful projects, we can say that the Chinese are serious. They really dream of becoming space leaders. Until 2030, their plan includes: mining the lunar samples, sending the rover to Mars, studying the asteroid and studying Jupiter. Then follow the creation of the lunar and Martian bases.