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China’s new mission will also carry Pakistani satellite to moon

The Chang’e 6 mission will carry French instruments that will test for radioactive gas

October 02, 2023
A Long March-2F rocket, carrying the Shenzhou-15 spacecraft with three astronauts to China's Tiangong space station, lifts off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China. — AFP

ISLAMABAD: China’s new mission to the moon, Cheng E6, will also carry a Pakistani satellite to the moon.

The China National Space Administration (CNSA) has stated in a statement on the social media site Waco that the Chang’e 6 mission will be launched to the moon in the first half of 2024. The mission will carry payloads to the moon from Pakistan, European Space Agency, France and Italy.

The Chang’e 6 mission will carry French instruments that will test for radioactive gas. Similarly, the European Space Agency’s Negative Ion Detector and Italy’s Valle Brett Radar System will also be taken to the moon by this mission.

According to the statement, Pakistan’s satellite named CubeSat will also be sent to the moon’s orbit. It said that China is accelerating the International Lunar Research Station project. More international partnerships are expected to follow.

The CNSA said the mission will carry payloads and satellites from four countries to increase international cooperation. The Chang’e-6 mission will travel to the dark side of the moon and collect samples from the surface and return to Earth.

According to CNSA, this will be the first time that samples from the dark side of the moon will be brought back to Earth. Earlier, such missions had collected samples from the near surface of the moon. According to the statement, the purpose of the mission is to collect samples from different parts of the moon to gather more details about its age. After Chang’e 6, China’s Chang’e 7 robotic mission will be sent to the moon’s south pole.

The mission will look for signs of ice there while also examining the region’s atmosphere and weather.

The Chang’e 8 mission will conclude the Chang’e missions that will be sent there to possibly establish a research station. It should be noted that in 2013, China’s Chang’e-5 mission collected samples from the moon and brought them to the earth, thus becoming the third country in the world to do so after the United States and Russia.