BEIJING, Sept. 29 (Xinhua) -- China's next lunar probe Chang'e-6 will be launched around 2024 as planned, with related development tasks currently in progress, the China National Space Administration (CNSA) said Friday.
According to the country's lunar exploration program, the Chang'e-6 mission will collect samples from the far side of the moon. It aims to land in the South Pole-Aitken Basin on the far side to explore and collect lunar samples from different regions and ages.
To support the communications between the moon's far side and the Earth, China plans to launch its newly developed relay satellite Queqiao-2, or Magpie Bridge-2, in the first half of 2024, the CNSA said.
It noted that the Chang'e-6 lunar probe will carry payloads from France, Italy, Pakistan and the European Space Agency, which include a negative ion detector and a radon gas detector. ■