China is Preparing to Send Its Chang’e-6 Spacecraft to Explore the Far Side of the Moon | Space & Technology

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China is reportedly preparing to deliver a robotic spacecraft to the Moon’s far side as part of a series of upcoming missions in advance of the country’s aims to establish a presence on the lunar South Pole.

The forthcoming launch of China’s Chang’e-6, the nation’s second attempted sample return mission, is expected to occur this week. The mission, if successful, plans to retrieve what will be recognized as the first samples of soil and rock from the far side of the Moon.

The mission plans to use the backup spacecraft from China’s first sample return mission, which occurred in 2020, marking the first successful retrieval of materials from the lunar surface in decades and another significant advancement in China’s exploration of space.

The mission presents several technological hurdles and will require the assistance of the Quequao-2 relay satellite the country recently sent into lunar orbit, which will help to facilitate communications with the Chang’e-6 spacecraft from its position on the far side of the Moon.

Chang’e-5 spacecraft model on display at Zhuhai Aerospace Land (Credit: Shujianyang/CC 4.0).

China plans to use Quequao-2 on…


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