China will conduct simulation tests on the return to Earth of the Chang'e V lunar probe at the end of this year, and China's goal for future deep space exploration is the solar system, People's Daily reported on Wednesday.


Ouyang Ziyuan, China's chief scientist for the lunar probe project, made the announcement at the opening ceremony of the 22nd International Planetarium Society Conference held in Beijing on June 24.


According to China's three-step lunar exploration, lunar probe Chang'e V is expected to be launched in Wenchang, Hainan Province in 2017 by LongMarch V, the carrier rocket which is now being developed.


Chang'e V will be more complex than Chang'e III and will be able to grab samples of lunar rocks and drill holes on the lunar surface; samples will be brought back to earth.


Ouyang Ziyuan also said future exploration in the solar system will include the search for extra-terrestrial life, the origin and evolution of the solar system, solar eruptions, and other phenomena. China has already made its plans to explore Mars: a probe will land on Mars in 2020 and return with samples in 2030.




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