China is planning a manned mission to the Moon, according to officials who announced that the preliminary preparations for the lunar landing have begun. Yang Liwei, deputy director general of China Manned Space Agency and the country’s first astronaut said that it will not take long for the project to get official approval and funding. The announcement was made by Yang at the Global Space Exploration Conference (GLEX 2017). Wu Yansheng, president of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), also said that China is working on a manned lunar landing plan, the state-run news agency Xinhua reported. The mission will consist of a manned spaceship, a propulsion vehicle and a lunar lander. The manned spaceship and the lunar lander will be sent into circumlunar orbit separately, according to Wu. Recently China announced an experiment in which students will stay in a ‘Lunar Palace’ – a cabin that simulates Moon- like environment – for a year, to test a life support system that may allow future astronauts to spend longer periods of time in space.