China aims beyond Moon & Mars; eyes Venus as well
China hopes to land a space probe on the second planet from the Sun by 2015 amid international concerns that Beijing was indulging in space arms race.
The People's Daily quoted Yang Liwei, China's first astronaut to visit space in 2003, as saying that the first unmanned space laboratory, Tiangong-1, will be launched in 2011.
After Tiangong-1's launch, there would be the first unmanned docking with the Shenzhou-8 spacecraft, Liwei added.
Manned spacecraft Shenzhou-9 and unmanned Shenzhou-10 will be launched in 2012, and by 2020, China will launch its first orbital space station, he informed.
Meanwhile, the commander-in-chief of the lunar-probe programme, Ye Peijian informed that the an orbit of the moon can be expected by 2020, followed by launch of China's first manned moon landing in 2025.
A probe will be sent to Mars by 2013 and to Venus by 2015, Peijian added.