Reuters reports on the goal being set for the world to see – one of China’s top space officials says they’ll put a human on the moon by 2036:
China must “raise its abilities and use the next 15 to 20 years to realize manned lunar exploration goals, and take a firm step for the Chinese people in breaking ground in the utilization of space”, Lieutenant General Zhang Yulin, deputy commander of the China Manned Space Program, said.
Zhang made the comments in statement posted to the program’s website on Thursday.
The official China Daily newspaper said the announcement marked “the country’s first confirmation of a manned lunar exploration program”.
China’s space budget is still only about one-tenth of the United States’ outlays, officials have said. According to Chinese state media, China spends about $2 billion a year on its space program, though details are vague.
China said this month that it would launch a “core module” for its first space station sometime around 2018, part of a plan to have a permanent manned space station in service around 2022.