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China to modify spacecraft for 'smart' Mars probe launch

Chang'e-2 launch from the Long-March-3C carrier rocket. Afile photo.

BEIJING (BNS): China Academy of Space Technology is planning to update and modify Chinese lunar probes to develop a smart Mars probe, a media report said.

"In the last century, lunar landings and exploration were the priority, but the trend has reversed this century," China Daily quoted Ye Peijian, chief scientist of deep space exploration as saying.

According to the reports, modifications to enable the Mars probe to reach deep space and become "smarter", will be carried out, said Ye, who is in charge of drafting a technical plan for exploration of the "Red Planet", which has yet to get government approval.

The China Academy of Space Technology is trying to draft a technical plan for Mars exploration.

Scientists are trying to design a technical plan for Mars exploration as the probe has to be intelligent enough to detect faults and correct them by itself, and able to navigate without relying on commands sent from Earth.

China is currently constructing a monitoring network for deep space, consisting of large-caliber antennas and communication facilities, to launch its lunar probe Chang'e-2 and 3. The monitoring stations of the network will be composed in both China and South America.

By 2012, the partial completion of the network in China can allow scientists to launch the Mars probe along with Chang'e-3 in 2013, it said.


China  spacecraft  Mars  

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