18 December 2017
Scientists are building a space center in the red deserts of northwestern China to prepare for the country’s 2020 Mars mission.
Last year, the Chinese government announced plans to launch an unmanned Mars mission in 2020, and the CAS started looking for a place to build a research base for the expedition. On a cold January day, local tour guide Zhang Qingzhe introduced Hongya, or Red Cliff: an area in the Gobi Desert, to Liu Xiaoqun, director of the Moon and Space Exploration Department at CAS, and his team, who noted it as a potential site for the base.