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Red star rising

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Science  22 Jul 2016:
Vol. 353, Issue 6297, pp. 342-345
DOI: 10.1126/science.353.6297.342

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Summary

China is in the midst of launching a clutch of space science missions, with four put into space within a 13-month span. Its lunar exploration program is also increasingly science-driven, with a sample return mission scheduled for next year and the first ever landing on the far side of the moon planned for 2018. Beginning in 2020, China will launch another round of four science missions and the nation's first Mars probe. Chinese space administrators say that to build on these advances, the space science program needs reliable annual funding, instead of the 5-year lump sums now provided. They also think merging the country's different space agencies could maximize the scientific impact and lead to greater efficiencies.

  • * in Beijing