China will start planning Mars probes in 5 years, state media reported. "China will, on the basis of its moon probes, plan deep-space exploration, focusing on lunar and Martian exploration," said Sun Laiyan, chief of the China National Space Administration. A senior scientist at the Chinese Academy of Engineering said Chinese rockets are capable of sending a satellite to orbit Mars, adding that if the government made up its mind to start planning now, a Martian probe could be sent in three to five years. The Change 1 probe will be launched in 2007 with plans for it to orbit the moon for a year. Plans are also for China to send a vehicle to "soft land" on the moon and explore the surface around 2012.