As part of China’s 2020 lunar mission, Chang’e 5, named after the mythical Chinese moon goddess, an unmanned probe brought China’s first lunar soil samples back to Earth. China, which made its first landing in 2013, plans to send an astronaut to the moon by 2030, according to Reuters.
By then, China will launch the Chang’e 6, 7 and 8 missions, the latter tasked with searching for reusable resources on the Moon for long-term human habitation.
The Chang’e 8 probe will conduct on-site investigations of the environment and mineral composition, and also determine whether technologies such as 3D printing can be implemented on the lunar surface, China Daily reported, citing Wu Weiren, scientist at the China National Space Administration.
“If we want to stay on the moon for a long time, we need to establish stations using the moon’s own materialsWu stated.
China wants to start building a lunar base using lunar soil within five years, Chinese media announced earlier this month.
A robot tasked with making “lunar soil bricks” will be launched during the Chang’e 8 mission around 2028, according to an expert from the Chinese Academy of Engineering.
The race to set foot on the moon has intensified in recent years, especially with the United States.
This month, NASA and the Canadian space agency assigned four astronauts to the Artemis II mission, planned for late 2024, in what would be the first human flight to the moon in decades.
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