October 23, 2021

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China’s Chang’e 6 mission will collect lunar samples from the far side of the moon by 2024

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China is preparing a follow-up to its audacious Chang’e 5 lunar sample return mission by sending a similar spacecraft to collect material from the South Pole-Aitken (SPA) basin on the far side of the moon.

China launched Chang’e 5 in November last year and 23 days later recovered a return capsule containing samples of what could be the youngest lunar rocks so far collected. That mission’s backup, Chang’e 6, is now being prepared for an even more challenging sampling attempt on the far side of the moon in 2024.

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