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001ec949c22b15ef7d9501.jpg (Photo : www.china.org.cn)

China is planning to launch its own rover to Mars by 2020, finish constructing a manned space station by 2022, and test a new heavy carrier rocket by 2030, according to a top Chinese space researcher and scientist on Sunday.

China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) chairman Lei Fanpei unveiled the space program's details with state-owned Xinhua News Agency after the launch of the CBERS-4 satellite, which was co-developed with Brazil and carried by the Long March-4B rocket from the Taiyuan launch site in China.

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The recent launch was the Long Market rocket family's 200th since 1970.

The feasibility study of China's first mission to Mars is completed and the country is now planning to send its own rover and orbiter to the red planet.

No official announcement regarding a Mars probe was made yet, but Lei is expecting that an orbiter will be carried by a Long March-5 carrier, still being developed, into a Martian orbit by 2020 from the country's new launch site in Hainan Province.

An actual-size replica of China's possible Mars rover was put on display at the Airshow China 2014 in November.

It will not be China's first try to reach Mars. The country attempted in 2011 using a Russian rocket, but unfortunately failed due to an accident.

Meanwhile, its space station program is currently under way. Several of the needed ground facilities, vehicles and modules are nearing completion.

According to Lei, the production and development of the significant space parts are at key phases, including the Shenzhou-11 spacecraft, Long March-7 rockets, Tianzhou-1 cargo ship, and the second Tinagong-2 space lab. Two of China's space labs and its core module will be tested in the near future.

The Hainan launch site, which will be the fourth after Xichang, Jiuquan and Taiyuan, is nearly finished and is already capable of launching spacecraft.