China plans 39 million-mile race to Mars to catch up with NASA

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“Mars Base 1” is a Mars simulation center in the Gobi desert.

China is taking its rivalry with the U.S. to another planet.

The Chinese space agency is preparing a mid-year mission to Mars, marking the most ambitious project on an exploration checklist intended to achieve equal footing with NASA and transform the nation’s technological know-how.

Landing the unmanned probe on the red planet would cap President Xi Jinping’s push to make China a superpower in space. The nation already has rovers on the moon, and it’s making bold plans to operate an orbiting space station, establish a lunar base and explore asteroids by the 2030s.

Continue reading… “China plans 39 million-mile race to Mars to catch up with NASA”

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