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Updated 2:12 PM EST, Wed, Jan 29, 2020

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China Finalizes 8 Names for 2020 Mars Mission

China 2020 Mars Mission.

(Photo : Getty Images) China's space reputation is at stake with its Mars mission.

China's maiden Mars mission is set to takeoff in 2020, but this ambitious project is still without an official name. This problem may be solved by April, when China's 2020 Mars mission is likely to get an official name.

The Chinese government has just released eight probable names for the ambitious space project. These eight names were finalized after selecting from over 14,500 entries from 35,900 proposals that were submitted by people from across the world.

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These eight names are as follows: 'Fenghuang' (phoenix), 'Tianwen' (questions for heaven), 'Huoxing' (Mars), 'Tenglong' (soaring dragon), 'Qilin' (Kylin), 'Zhuque' (rose finch), 'Zhuimeng' (chasing dreams), and 'Fengxiang' (flying phoenix).

China's space reputation is at stake with its Mars mission.  This is mainly due to the fact that India leapfrogged China in 2013 to become the first Asian country to reach the orbit of the red planet. India's achievement was even more special, given that it became the first country in the world to achieve this milestone in its first attempt.

China did try to reach the red planet two years before India's launch of Mangalyaan. But its spacecraft Yinghuo-1 failed to reach the red planet after developing a technical problem.       

However, the Asian giant can take pride in the fact that its Mars probe is far more challenging than India's Mangalyaan. Unlike Mangalyaan, China is not merely aiming to reach the orbit zone of Mars but aims to land a rover on the red planet to conduct in-depth study its surface.

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