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China’s Space Ambitions: Robot On Mars, A Human On The Moon

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FILE - This artist's rendering provided to China's Xinhua News Agency on Aug. 23, 2016, by the lunar probe and space project center of Chinese State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense, shows a concept design for the Chinese Mars 2020 rover and lander. China's landing of its third probe on the moon is part of an increasingly ambitious space program that has a robot rover en route to Mars, is developing a reusable space plane and plans to put humans back on the lunar surface. (Chinese State Administration of Science, Technology, and Industry for National Defense via Xinhua via AP, File)

(AP) — China’s landing of its third probe on the moon is part of an increasingly ambitious space program that has a robot rover en route to Mars, is developing a reusable space plane and is planning to put humans back on the lunar surface. Space exploration is a political trophy for the ruling Communist Party, which wants global influence to match China’s economic success. China is a generation behind the United States and Russia, but its secretive, military-linked program is developing rapidly. It is creating distinctive missions that, if successful, could put Beijing on the leading edge of space flight.

 

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