China has approved three more Missions to the Moon over the coming decade, including ones involving rovers, a flying craft and the start of a permanent base. This will be the fourth phase of the Chinese lunar plan, that has previously seen them photograph the dark side, and return samples of moon rock to the Earth.
Future Missions, scheduled to begin in 2024, will become increasingly complex, resulting in the basic model of a lunar research station built on the Moon. This station is a joint project with the Russian space agency, Roscosmos, and is expected to be operational ahead of a joint crewed in 2030.
The Chinese Missions will be multipurpose, including a relay satellite, a lander, a rover and a mini flying craft, similar to the NASA Ingenuity helicopter used on Mars.Chang’e 6 will launch second, although no specific dates have been given for when it is expected to leave the Earth. It was originally envisioned as a backup for the Chang’e 5 sample-return that brought rock samples back to Earth in December 2020.
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