BEIJING (AP) — China will launch its next robot lunar lander in 2024, and it will carry equipment from France, Sweden, Russia and Italy, the official news agency reported.
Plans call for Chang’e 6 to land near the lunar south pole and collect samples for return to Earth, the program’s chief designer, Hu Hao, said at a conference Saturday, according to the Xinhua News Agency.
The Chang’e landers are part of Chinese space exploration efforts that also include a probe that is preparing to land a robot rover on Mars. There are also plans for a crewed orbital station, landing a human on the moon and retrieving soil from an asteroid.
In December, the previous moon probe, Chang’e 5, returned lunar rocks to Earth for the first time since the 1970s.