Just as the United States (and Elon Musk) plans to do, China also plans to create a sustainable human presence on Mars. In fact, the country is currently looking for a method to bring astronauts to the Red Planet, return to safety and potentially even create a base for a long time.
Wang Xiaojing, president of the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT), told the audience at a conference that China is researching the best options for sustainable human missions to Mars. The missions planned for the Red Planet – current and future – will aim to build a platform for initial human missions.
It will start from an orbital outpost ( a bit like NASA’s lunar space station ), then land on the planet and slowly build a base. According to Xiaojing, in fact, the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CAST) has already completed complete research on the architecture of the mission to Mars.
The latter includes: examining the available launch times, the possible orbits of the spacecraft used to reach the celestial body, and the most suitable propulsion system. The plan – as you may have noticed – does not consider the challenges of sending humans on long journeys through deep space (and especially the impact of radiation and the effects of microgravity).
Other Chinese agencies will take care of these matters and, at present, no date has been given for these operations to take place.