BEIJING, Oct. 22 (Xinhua) -- China has drawn up a technical plan for an independent Mars orbiter exploration project, according to China's space technology expert.
The plan was based on research conducted by the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST), said an expert Thursday here at a forum on China's space technology.
The project will make use of technologies developed for China's first lunar satellite launched in 2007, the expert said.
The technologies likely to be used -- including ones to boost the satellite's payload capability and exploration accuracy -- were already quite advanced, according to the expert.
The earliest possible launch date for the orbiter was 2013, Huang Jiangchuan, scientist with the CAST, told China's state broadcaster China Central Television on Thursday.