China's plans to explore Mars and build a power plant in space
China has ambitious plans to take on space.
BEIJING — China plans to build the first solar power plant in space and embark on a mission to Mars.
China intends to build a solar power station that would orbit earth at a distance of 36,000 kilometers, according to reports from China's Science and Technology Daily.
Components of the solar power plant would be sent to space where they would then be assembled, according to CNN.
Pang Zhihao, a researcher from the China Academy of Space Technology, told the newspaper the solar station would be able to draw energy from the sun without any interference from Earth's atmosphere.
A receiving station will be built in the northern Chinese city of Xian. The electricity could hypothetically be beamed to Earth via microwaves or lasers, although more research needs to be done on the effects these would have on humans and animals.
In addition to the orbital power plant, China also has plans to send a rover to Mars.
The country has opened its first Mars simulation base in China's Qinghai Province. The area resembles the Martian surface with its dry and arid climate, according to Global Times.
China's Mars mission is being called the Mars Global Remote Sensing Orbiter and Small Rover, or HX-1.
The lander will touch down on the northern hemisphere of Mars, according to the State Council of the People's Republic of China's website.
The lander will contain a rover with six wheels and four solar panels and will be able to explore Mars by itself.
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