China will launch a lunar probe in the first half of 2024

The Chinese Space Agency has announced that they are ready to send the Chang’e-6 probe to the Moon as early as early 2024. News agencies have distributed photos of it being transported to the spaceport. The announcement came less than a day after it became known that the American private mission Peregrine had failed.

China is going to launch a new probe to the Moon. Source: Jiang Hongjing/Xinhua via AP

Chang’e-6 is being prepared to launch to the Moon

On Wednesday, January 10, China’s Space Agency announced that its Chang’e-6 lunar probe will be launched in the first half of 2024. The country’s state broadcaster CCTV published images of the spacecraft when it was unloaded from a transport plane earlier this week and laid out in a truck.

Chang’e-6 is reportedly on its way to the Wenchang launch site, which is located on Hainan Island. According to the statements of the China Space Agency, in the near future it will still have final tests, after which it will fly into space.

The main goal of the Chang’e-6 mission is a soft landing on the far side of the Moon. It is expected that the spacecraft will be able to take soil samples and return them to Earth for study. Earlier, it was reported that it was supposed to study the area of the South Pole.

Will China take the lead?

It is extremely noteworthy that China’s victorious statements were made almost immediately after the day, which was already called black for the American lunar program. At first, the Peregrine probe launched on Monday used up too much fuel trying to orient itself towards the Sun, which made it impossible to land on the Moon.

And just a few hours after that, NASA announced that the second mission of the Artemis program, during which astronauts were supposed to fly around the Moon, was postponed until 2025. The United States and China have begun a competition for who will be the first to land at the South Pole of our moon, and all these failures can shake the confidence of the United States in their leadership.

However, the United States has another attempt to fix the situation ahead. Within a month, another private unmanned probe, Nova-C, is due to fly towards the moon of our planet. If it manages to land, China will have to catch up again.

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