Former Chinese Basketballer Yao Ming has been named as China’s ambassador to Mars.
The former Houston Rockets player was named alongside ten others as ambassador to the dusty planet, and they are expected to help publicise China’s plan to send a spacecraft to Mars by 2020.
China’s 2020 mission to the Mars is expected to carry a solar-powered probe to the surface of Earth’s neighbour.
A Chinese-made Long March-5 rocket will be used to launch the probe from the Wenchang Space Centre in China’s Hainan province.
The other ten chosen ambassadors include science-fiction writer Liu Cixin, teenage boy band TFBOYS and women’s Olympic gold-medal-winning volleyball team coach Lang Ping.
China has of recent been making its mark in the space industry.
Just some weeks back it launched the world’s largest telescope.