Tiangong-1 lifts off
The Long March II-F rocket loaded with China's unmanned space module Tiangong-1 lifts off from the launch pad in the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, Gansu province September 29, 2011. China successfully launched an experimental craft paving the way for its first space station on Thursday amid a blaze of national pride, bringing the growing Asian power closer to matching the United States and Russia with a long-term manned outpost in space. Reuters

For 2018, Balkan mystic Baba Vanga had predicted that China will surpass the US and might emerge as the world leader coupled with scientists discovering a new form of energy in Venus that will revolutionize the world. Whether China will become a Super Power or not this year, it will certainly overtake the US in its space prowess as series of missions slated for 2018 reveal.

The Chinese researchers have planned for missions which are independent in nature whether sending humans to the dark side of the moon or setting up a new space station on their own. They also have to put in efforts to avoid potential danger caused by the fall of their Space Station Tiangong-1 that has stopped functioning last year.

Some of the key areas to list China's space odyssey in 2018 are listed below:

Sending humans to dark side of Moon

China plans to send its first human-carrying probe to the dark side of the moon in 2018. This mission has great significance as no other space agency has ever sent probes to the moon's mysterious darker side since the first lunar mission in September 1959.

Liu Jizhong, director of China Lunar Exploration and Space Engineering Center of China National Space Administration (CNSA) said that Chang'e 4 lunar probe would be the first human-carrying probe to land on the far side of the Moon. It would carry around 11 scientific payloads, including four developed by other countries.

China had successfully soft-landed its robot probes Chang'e-3 craft and Jade Rabbit rover on December 14, 2013. Soviet Union's Luna 24 was the last probe to make a soft landing on the lunar surface in 1976.

China had made the first official announcement about the mission in January 2016. The country also plans to send another probe named Chang'e 5 to the Mons Rumkar region, an isolated volcanic formation in the northwest part of the Moon's near side, which will collect samples from Moon and bring them back to earth by the end of the year, 2018.

Launch core module of Space Station

China plans to launch the core module of its independent space station named as "Tianhe-1" in 2018 using its Long March-5 heavyweight carrier rocket.

More components including two space labs would be added to the space station which has been planned to be completed by 2022. Even though the initial components of the space lab would be smaller than the International Space station, it would extend in size with additional components.

Bao Weimin, director of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) and a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) said that the Chinese outpost will function in orbit for "dozens of years," and that it had been specially designed to be able to handle space debris.

The International Space Station (ISS), the currently existing lone space station had been built as a partnership mission of five different space agencies; USA, European Union, Russia, Japan and Canada. The new space station of China could become the sole space station and an important host for the scientific research in space after the retirement of the ISS in 2024.

China's Mars probe

After the failure of their first Mars probe Yinghuo-1 in November 2011, researchers have been working on the prototype models of China's next Mars probe which is scheduled to be launched in 2020.

Officials said that China also plans to explore asteroids and Jupiter, as a part of their deep-space exploration project. These explorations would follow the first Martian exploration. The researchers believe that the research would give insights into the formation of the solar system and the origin of life on Earth.

The final question is who'll master the art of mining either Moon or Venus for the so-called energy source that would revolutionize the way we live. If China makes it before the US, then certainly they would make Baba Vanga's prediction true.