28 Dec, Beijing: China’s ambitions for its space program include a soft landing on the moon, a probe to Mars and private foreign investment, a report issued Tuesday says.

The five-year plan was released by Beijing’s State Council Information Office and stresses that China is committed to peaceful uses of space and seeks to avoid a space arms race. While the United States and Russia have historically dominated space research and exploration, China’s military-backed space program landed a roving vehicle on the moon in 2013 and in November two Chinese astronauts concluded a 30-day mission aboard the country’s own space station.

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Photo: Agency

The report details plans for a soft landing on the dark side of the moon in 2018, a new navigation satellite in the same year and an unmanned trip to Mars in 2020.

Wu Yanhua of the China National Space Administration said Tuesday that China aims to be among the world’s Top 3 aerospace powers by 2030, and that its space program welcomes private investment.

“After six decades of development, government investment alone is not enough to let China’s aerospace program to advance technological progress and benefit the economy and society,” Wu said.

He added China’s economy now has fewer restrictions on private investment, including foreign capital, to invest in China’s aerospace research, manufacturing and services. UPI

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