|China's self-developed manned moon rover at the 11th China Chongqing Hi-tech Fair. The rover is big enough to hold two astronauts, and can carry several tools.|
China's space exploration agency has unveiled a four-wheeled lunar rover, sparking speculation about sending Chinese astronauts to the moon.
The vehicle was displayed at the 11th China Chongqing High-tech Fair that opened in the southwestern metropolis, and instantly attracted a frenzy of attention.
Though appearing rough and unsophisticated, the new moon vehicle boasts an outstanding ability to roam over bumpy terrain as a result of its lightweight frame and supreme robustness, according to Zhan Hanjing, deputy chief designer at the center.
Under development by the Ministry of Education's Center of Space Exploration, the vehicle can carry two people and a heavy payload. It will serve the nation's first astronauts to set foot on the moon, according to Zhan.
Research and development for the rover was commissioned jointly by several central departments that oversee China's space program, including the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense, and the Ministry of Education, said Zhan, adding that the conceptual design began at the end of 2015.