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China unveils top names for Mars spacecraft

Updated: Jan 30,2017 9:43 AM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China has released a short list of eight names for the country’s first Mars spacecraft, which is scheduled to launch by 2020.

The eight names-- “Fenghuang” (phoenix), “Tianwen” (questions for heaven), “Huoxing” (Mars), “Tenglong” (soaring dragon), “Qilin” (Kylin), “Zhuque” (rose finch), “Zhuimeng” (chasing dreams) and “Fengxiang” (flying phoenix), were the top names chosen from over 14,500 choices submitted through more than 35,900 proposals entered by people worldwide.

China plans to launch its first Mars spacecraft by 2020, which will orbit, land and explore the Red Planet.

Proposals were accepted from August last year.

The eight names were selected via a jury review and online polls.

The final choice will be announced around Space Day, April 24, according to a moon probe and space program center under the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence, which solicited the proposals.