According to a report in Bloomberg, Chinese researchers are asking the central government to boost investment into space science from 4.7 billion yuan ($695 million) between 2011 to 2015, to 15.6 billion yuan ($2.3 billion). This is less than NASA’s $5.6 billion budget, but it reveals that China is getting serious about its space program.
With this investment, it hopes to land on the moon by 2036, then on Mars. It also wants to do original research, rather than simply building on research done by other countries. President Xi Jinping says this space research will lead to innovation in robotics, aviation, and artificial intelligence, among other things.