China is taking steps to send an astronaut to the moon, according to a government white paper published on Thursday, the Financial Times reported. The paper is the first time a manned space mission has been stated concretely as a goal, saying that China will “conduct studies on the preliminary plan for a human lunar landing.” The paper lays out a five year plan to develop new satellites, speed up efforts to build a space station, launch unmanned lunar probes and make other breakthroughs in human space flight. Chinese experts say that a manned lunar mission will not be possible until after 2020. A US astronaut was the last person to set foot on the moon in 1972; in 2003, China sent its first “taikonaut” into space. The white paper states that China is exploring space for peaceful purposes only and could deflect criticism that China has not been transparent about its space program.