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China's manned space missions steadily working towards Mars

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SpaceX Falcon9
SpaceX Falcon9

China may not have been part of the 20th century Space Race, but the country's manned space program has ambitious goals as it enters its second decade. The Atlantic has a roundup of images from China's latest successful mission, which put the Shenzhou-10 spacecraft in orbit for 15 days and included a successful docking with the Tiangong-1 Space Laboratory. This mission is another step towards the country's eventual goal of a manned trip to Mars sometime between 2040 and 2060. China may not be the first to step foot on Mars — Elon Musk has stated his plans to build a Mars colony in the next 12 to 15 years — but the country's slow and steady pace is showing great promise.