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China has hinted at manned missions to the moon in the past, but has now confirmed it wants to send an astronaut there – but there’s no planned time-line, but it is unlikely to happen before 2020
China has declared its intention to land an astronaut on the moon, in the first official confirmation of its aim to go where Americans last set foot nearly 40 years ago.
While Chinese scientists have previously discussed the possibility of a manned lunar mission, a government white paper published on Thursday is the first public government document to enshrine it as a policy goal.
China will “conduct studies on the preliminary plan for a human lunar landing”, the white paper said.
Although a manned moon mission is still some time off – Chinese experts say after 2020 – the statement highlights Beijing’s soaring ambitions just five months after the US retired its space shuttle programme.
Source: China push to put astronaut on the moon (FT.com)