The Strategist

China to send three missions to the Moon

09/12/2022 - 11:04

According to Liu Jizhong of the China Center for Lunar Research and Space Programs, the Chang'e space program courted by China's National Space Administration authorization received a permission to launch three unmanned vehicles to the Moon within ten years.

Jeff Fennell
Jeff Fennell
China had discovered a new mineral in the lunar soil during the Chang'e-5 mission, according to a report in the Chinese publication Global Times published the day before the announcement. It is known as the mineral, called Chang'e Stone (Changesite-(Y)), is a columnar, colorless crystal that contains helium-3, which is viewed as a potential future energy source.

"This mineral was the sixth new mineral discovered by humans on the Moon. Our country became the third in the world to discover a new one," the National Space Administration of China pointed out. For China, the discovery was the first.

The Chang'e Lunar Program was established in 2004, named after the Chinese lunar goddess. The program's recent missions have focused on collecting samples from the lunar surface. The Chang'e 7 mission will target the Moon's south pole, which scientists believe is the best place to look for water. NASA is also targeting that part of the Moon, Bloomberg writes. China's increasing ambitions in space puts it in direct competition with the U.S., the agency said. In addition, the state intends to build an international research station on the Moon.