China to launch 1st-ever sample return mission to moon’s far side in 2024

China’s Ambitious Mission to Moon’s Far Side Takes Shape

China is set to embark on a groundbreaking mission to collect the first-ever samples from the far side of the moon with its Chang’e 6 mission. The mission comprises four spacecraft and will launch from Wenchang in May 2024, as revealed by Wu Yanhua, chief designer of China’s Deep Space Exploration Major Project, at a deep-space exploration conference on April 25 in the Chinese city of Hefei.

This complex mission, which is set to last for 53 days, will aim to collect up to 4.4 pounds (2 kilograms) of lunar materials using a scoop and drill. The primary target landing site is reported to be around 43 degrees south latitude and 154 degrees west longitude on the far side of the moon, specifically within the southern area of the colossal Apollo basin. The basin lies within the South Pole-Aitken (SPA) basin, an ancient impact crater roughly 1,550 miles (2,500 kilometers) in diameter that covers almost a quarter of the moon’s far side.

The SPA basin impact is widely believed to have excavated material from below the lunar crust, making it a prime location to obtain vital clues about the history of the moon and the development of the solar system. The Chang’e 6 mission will be even more challenging than the previous Chang’e 5 mission, as the far side of the moon is never visible to Earth and requires a satellite named Queqiao 2 to relay communications between Chang’e 6 and teams back on Earth.

The success of the Chang’e 6 mission would mark yet another significant milestone for China’s space program, which has made remarkable strides in recent years. In 2020, China made history by conducting its first-ever lunar sample return mission with the Chang’e 5 mission, marking the first time in over 40 years that samples had been collected from the moon. The mission, which targeted the moon’s near side in Oceanus Procellarum, included launching an ascent vehicle from atop the mission lander on the moon and a service module to shuttle a re-entry capsule containing samples back to Earth.

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China’s ambitious space plans include a mission to Mars by 2033 and a space station set to be completed in 2022, in addition to its ongoing mission to moon. These missions have made significant contributions to scientific research, including lunar geology, space weather, and cosmic radiation, cementing China’s position as a major player in the global space race.

China’s technological advancements in 5G technology and artificial intelligence have made significant contributions to the world. In addition to its space ambitions, the nation’s continued growth and development are poised to shape the future of technology and space exploration in a major way, as evidenced by its groundbreaking mission to moon with Chang’e 6.

In conclusion, China’s Chang’e 6 mission to moon to collect samples from the far side of the moon is a significant achievement in the nation’s ambitious space program. The mission to moon is set to break new ground in space exploration and could provide crucial insights into the history of the moon and the development of the solar system. China’s continued efforts in space are set to shape the future of technology and space exploration, and its contributions to scientific research are poised to have a significant impact on our understanding of the universe.