According to China Daily, the Chang’e 6 spacecraft will consist of four components: an orbiter, a lander, an ascender, and a re-entry module.
The newspaper quoted China’s National Space Administration, which assured that the project was proceeding according to plan.
To facilitate communications between the Chang’e 6 probe and Earth, a new relay satellite named Queqiao 2 will be deployed in lunar orbit in the first half of 2024, the agency said.
As planned, the spacecraft will land in the South Pole-Aitken basin and collect dust and rock samples there, that should be the first time such work would be done on the other side of the moon.
In addition, China offered to carry a total of 10 kilograms of foreign equipment on the mission’s lander and orbiter.
Expert sources announced that the Chang’e 6 lander will carry scientific instruments from France, Italy and the European Space Agency, while a Pakistani payload will be mounted on the orbiter.
To date, the United States, the former Soviet Union and China are the only countries to have brought substances from the moon to Earth, but none of them have obtained samples from the hidden side.