China Plans to Launch Next Lunar Explorer During the First Half of 2024

12th Jan 2024
China Plans to Launch Next Lunar Explorer During the First Half of 2024

China has recently announced that its most recent lunar explorer has reached the launch base and is being prepared for a lunar mission within the first six months of this year. 

Earlier in the week, China’s national television broadcaster CCTV released photos on its official site of a unit that was kept confidential and offloaded from a cargo airplane. The unit was then delivered to the Wenchang launch base located on Hainan Island in southern China via a flatbed truck. 

This announcement regarding China’s lunar explorer came just a day after a US space organization had to abandon a moon landing mission scheduled for the 23rd of February due to a fuel leakage that occurred shortly after liftoff. 

China’s Chang’e-6 Probe to Undergo Pre-Launch Tests; Will Seek to Return Samples from Lunar Surface

Both the United States and China are currently competing in a growing rivalry to land their respective space explorers on the surface of the moon. While the US plans to achieve this by 2026, China aims to accomplish this feat before 2030.

In line with this, the China National Space Administration has stated that tests before the launch will be conducted on its Chang’e-6 probe, which will seek to retrieve samples from parts of the lunar surface that have not been explored before. 

Meanwhile, another lunar lander from a Houston-based firm is scheduled to be launched in the following month. To date, four countries, including the US, China, India, and Russia, have successfully sent spacecraft to the moon. However, the US remains the only country to have put humans on the lunar surface, i.e., during the Apollo missions between 1969 and 1972.

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