China's Chang'e-6 lunar farside sample return mission scheduled to launch around 2024: CNSA
Published: Sep 29, 2023 12:20 PM
Illustration photo of Phase-4 plans

Illustration photo of Phase-4 plans

China’s Chang'e-6 lunar mission is currently undergoing research and development work as planned, with the launch scheduled for around 2024, China National Space Administration (CNSA) announced on Friday.

The Chang'e-6 mission is tasked with bringing back samples from the far side of the moon. To date, all 10 lunar sampling missions conducted by humans have taken place on the near side of the moon. The far side is generally older and contains the Aitken Basin, one of the three major lunar landforms, making it of significant scientific value, according to the CNSA.

The pre-selected landing area for the Chang'e-6 mission is the South Pole-Aitken Basin on the far side of the moon, with the goal of discovering and collecting lunar samples from different regions and ages to enhance human understanding of the moon, the CNSA confirmed.

To ensure smooth communication between the spacecraft and Earth, China has developed the Queqiao-2 relay communication satellite, which is planned to be launched in the first half of 2024. 

The CNSA also noted that to promote international cooperation, the Chang'e-6 mission will carry payloads and satellite projects from different countries and regions - France's DORN radon detection instrument, the European Space Agency's negative ion detector, Italy's laser retroreflector, and Pakistan's CubeSat. 

China is also accelerating the development of the International Lunar Research Station (ILRS), hoping to attract more international partners to jointly expand the boundaries of human knowledge and contribute to the peaceful use of space and the construction of a community with a shared future for mankind, the CNSA added.

Global Times