China’s Chang’e-6 mission, slated for next year, marks a historic milestone in the country’s lunar program. It aims to gather groundbreaking samples from the moon’s far side, shedding light on this uncharted territory. The CNSA has confirmed smooth mission preparations, including the deployment of a relay satellite in the first half of the coming year. This represents a significant step toward China’s broader objectives of sending astronauts to the moon within this decade and creating an international lunar research station.

In preparation for its 2028 Chang’e-8 mission, China’s National Space Administration (CNSA) is actively seeking increased global collaboration by inviting international partners to join in spacecraft launch, orbit operation, spacecraft-to-spacecraft interactions, and lunar surface exploration at the mission level. This initiative also includes allocating space for 200 kilograms of foreign science payloads to foster collaborative lunar research, all aimed at gathering essential data for establishing a permanent international research station on the lunar south pole by 2040, underscoring China’s ambitious space agenda. China’s proactive approach to lunar exploration, marked by milestones such as the 2019 far-side rover landing, Tiangong space station construction, and plans for a manned moon mission by 2030, resonates in a landscape where countries like India and the United States are also amplifying their lunar pursuits. As global interest in lunar exploration surges, China’s missions serve both scientific and diplomatic purposes. The upcoming Chang’e-6 mission in 2024 will unveil the moon’s far side through sample collection from the South Pole-Aitken Basin, with international partners contributing to the payload. Following this, Chang’e-7 in 2026 will focus on lunar resource exploration, while Chang’e-8 in 2028 will delve into lunar material utilization, cementing China’s prominent role in space exploration.