China will send a probe to sniff out alien farts on Mars and scour its surface for little green men within four years, the emerging superpower has announced.
The launch – which will also include ground-penetrating radar to scope out Martian moles – will clash with NASA”s next Mars mission, also in 2020.
China appears to have developed a shock, sudden interest in extraterrestrial life.
The country is already building the world”s biggest telescope to spy on ET.
China”s Mars mission will include an orbiter – to scour the Red Planet from space – and lander and a rover – to continue the search on its surface.
The orbiter will be able to detect methane – seen as clear sign of life.
The rover will have radar capable of scanning 400 metres below the surface.
The heavy payload will be a test for the new Long March 5 rocket China is developing to carry the hi-tech gear.
NASA and China both want to blast off in 2020 as Earth and Mars will be at the closest point of their respective orbits around the Sun.
If China misses the launch window, it will have to wait another two years.
But Europe may beat the Yanks an Chinese to First Contact – as it is sending the ExoMars Rover to meet Martians two years earlier, in 2018.
China has already become only the third nation to land a probe on the Moon.