China to Send First Crewed Mission to Mars in 2033
China is working on a space program that involves five crewed flights to Mars until 2043. The first is scheduled for 2033. In the future, the country wants to create a permanent base on the planet for humans to live there.
At the Global Space Exploration Conference, the head of the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT), Wang Xiaojun, said that China had planned a crewed flight to Mars in 2033. Crewed launches will take place in 2033, 2035, 2037, 2041, and 2043.
China intends to first send robots to explore the sites of the Red Planet, which are likely to receive a permanently habitable base and resource extraction systems. For starters, China plans to deliver Mars soil samples to Earth in 2030 during an uncrewed mission. The long-term plan is to use the potential resources of the Red Planet: to extract water from the depths, synthesize oxygen, and generate electricity.
During mission implementation, China will need to send robots into space and create technology for sending astronauts to Earth.
China's plans also include a "third phase" in which flights to Mars will become commonplace. In the future, it will be possible to use multiple space stations to create a "sky ladder" of stops for travelers on the way to Mars.
To reduce travel time, spacecraft will have to use nuclear energy in the form of heat and electricity in addition to traditional rocket fuel.