China starts engineering development of Chang'e next phase

(27 Apr 2022) China will start engineering development of the fourth phase of its lunar exploration programme this year, according to a senior official of the China National Space Administration (CNSA).

The Chang'e 6, Chang'e 7 and Chang'e-8 lunar probes will be launched successively, and the country will endeavour to make breakthroughs in key technologies and build an international lunar research station, Wu Yanhua, CNSA's deputy director, was quoted as saying.

He said the Chang'e 6 will take samples from the far side of the moon. The administration are planning to set up a satellite constellation around the moon to provide communication and navigation services.

The main goal of the fourth phase is to carry out scientific exploration on the moon's south pole and set up a fundamental type of lunar scientific research station. The fourth phase will be carried out in three steps, with the Chang'e 6, Chang'e 7 and Chang'e 8 probes being launched before 2030.

Reference: Xinhua