China’s ex-basketball star Yao Ming appointed Mars ambassador

Yao Ming
Yao Ming

Ex-basketball star Yao Ming has been appointed one of China’s first “Mars ambassadors,” the country’s National Space Administration said Tuesday.

The 36-year-old, formerly of the Houston Rockets, was named together with Chinese women’s volleyball team coach Lang Ping, composer Tan Dun and boyband TFBOYS, to fly the flag for the nation’s ambitious Mars programme.

The mission, first announced earlier this year, is expected to carry a solar-powered probe to the surface of the red planet in 2020 to find water.

China has an ambitious space programme with the country’s rulers using it to garner support from the population and boost international prestige.

Since launching its first manned mission in 2003, China has sent up an experimental space station, Tiangong-1, staged a spacewalk and landed its Yutu rover on the moon.

Its second space station, Tiangong-2, was sent into orbit from a launch facility in the Gobi desert in September, according to state media.

Tiangong-2 is intended as a precursor to the building of a full-size manned space station.

A Shenzhou 11 spaceship with two astronauts is scheduled to dock with the station on October 17.

Officials have previously suggested a manned landing on the moon could also be part of China’s space programme in the future.

Source: GNA

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.