China will offer more opportunities for private companies to participate in lunar and Mars exploration, a space exploration official said.
Tian Yulong, secretary general of the China National Space Administration (CNSA), said that commercial aerospace programs had been carried out in low Earth orbit (LEO), but those in deep space exploration would be a challenge, at the Global Space Exploration Conference, which lasts from Tuesday to Thursday.
"In deep space exploration, we need to provide a favorable environment for middle and small-sized enterprises," he said.
At present, space exploration is mostly invested and operated by government bodies and institutions. Encouraging private investment in space exploration has long been a challenge for countries worldwide.
Tian said many Chinese companies showed enthusiasm for taking part in space exploration. In the last two years, more than 10 enterprises have been engaged in microsatellite research and development and about 100 have worked on the development and use of satellite LEO data.
There are more than 20 companies that have been listed based on the business possibilities of aerospace technology, he said, adding that space exploration technology, such as communication and human intelligence, could be widely used.
"The CNSA is working on enabling enterprises to become the main force of technical innovation by creating favorable laws and policies," Tian said.