China plans to realize manned lunar landing by 2030, announced the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) at a press conference Monday.

Lin Xiqiang, deputy director of the CMSA, said at the conference that China has recently initiated the lunar landing phase of its manned lunar exploration program.

The overall goal is to achieve China’s first manned landing on the moon by 2030 and carry out lunar scientific exploration and related technological experiments, he added.

According to Lin, the goal also includes mastering the key technologies such as Earth-moon manned roundtrip, lunar surface short-term stay, human-robot joint exploration, accomplishing multiple tasks of landing, roving, sampling, researching, returning, and forming an independent capability of manned lunar exploration.

China’s manned lunar landing will promote the leapfrog development of manned space technology from near-Earth to deep space, deepen human understanding of the origin and evolution of the moon and the solar system, and contribute Chinese wisdom to the development of lunar science, he said.

The CMSA has carried out various research and development work to achieve the goal on the basis of preliminary key technology research and program demonstration, including the research and development of the new-generation manned launch vehicle Long March-10, new-generation manned spaceship, lunar lander, and lunar landing suits, as well as the building and testing of a new launch site, facilities and equipment.

The CMSA will release announcements later to solicit proposals for scientific payloads and manned lunar rovers, and for names of new-generation manned spaceships and lunar landers, according to Lin.