08 March 2017
China will send a spacecraft to orbit and land on Mars, and deploy a rover in July or August 2020, Wan Weixing, an academic at the Chinese Academy of Sciences told Chinese media on 06 March. The lander will touch down on the northern hemisphere of Mars, while the rover will explore the surface after a 7-month journey, and send data back in 2021, said Wan, also the Chief Scientist of China's Mars exploration programme. The probe’s designed life expectancy is one Martian year, or about two years on Earth, he said, when reviewing the government work report at the ongoing “two sessions,” namely the annual meetings of the National People’s Congress and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.
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