China is carrying out in-depth demonstration and long-term planning for its manned lunar exploration, and has formed an overall consensus and a preliminary plan, according to a senior space engineer.
At the 1st China Space Science Assembly held in Xiamen, east China's Fujian Province, from Oct. 25 to Oct. 28, Chen Shanguang, deputy chief designer of China's manned space program, said the future trend of manned space cause is to explore the moon, and establish a lunar base to carry out scientific research, and accumulate technology and experience for going deeper into space. "The long-term goal is to send people to Mars."
The manned lunar exploration will help improve human's understanding of the formation and evolution of the moon, as astronauts may set up facilities on the moon to obtain scientific data and samples, Chen said.
The astronauts may carry out multi-disciplinary research involving fields such as physics, chemistry, astronomy and geology, and in-situ resource utilization by taking advantage of the characteristics of the moon, such as low gravity, weak magnetic field and high vacuum. The research could promote innovation and development of basic science, he said.
Solving the scientific problems involving human survival on the moon could lay a foundation for human beings to go further into deep space, Chen added.