The Azerbaijan State News Agency


China launches Chang’e-6 mission to collect first samples from the moon’s far side

China launches Chang’e-6 mission to collect first samples from the moon’s far side

Baku, May 3, AZERTAC

China launched its complex and ambitious Chang’e-6 mission Friday to collect the first ever samples from the far side of the moon, according to

A 57-meter-tall Long March 5 lifted off from the Wenchang Satellite Launch Center at 5:30 a.m. Eastern (0930 UTC) May 3, carrying the roughly 8,200-kilogram Chang’e-6 into orbit.

A first second stage burn was completed 12 minutes after launch, with a translunar injection burn set for around 14 minutes later. Spacecraft separation is scheduled for around 37 minutes into flight.

If successful, samples delivered by the 53-day-long mission could change our understanding of the Earth and moon and the history of the early solar system.

Chang’e-6 consists of a stack of four spacecraft that will perform specific roles. Its orbiter will take the mission into lunar orbit. From there, a lander will separate and target a landing within Apollo crater on the far side of the moon. As the far side of the moon is never visible to Earth, due to our planet slowing the moon’s rotation and leaving it tidally locked, a communications relay satellite is required to provide communications between the ground and the lunar far side. For this, China launched Queqiao-2 in March into a specialized lunar orbit.

Once landed, the lander spacecraft will collect up to 2,000 grams of lunar samples with a drill, descending to a depth of up to two meters, and a scoop. These will be loaded into an ascent vehicle and launched back into lunar orbit for a carefully choreographed and challenging rendezvous and docking with the orbiter.

From here, the samples will be transferred to a reentry capsule. The ascender will be jettisoned and the orbiter will prepare for the return to Earth. The reentry capsule will be released just before reaching Earth and will first skip off the planet’s atmosphere. This will help it slow it down before a final, fiery plunge through the atmosphere and a landing in Inner Mongolia.

The mission is a repurposed backup to the 2020 Chang’e-5 sample return mission. That mission successfully collected the youngest samples so far from the near side of the moon. It also builds on the Chang’e-4 mission which put a lander and rover on the lunar far side in 2019.

As well as the main goal of collecting samples, the Chang’e-6 lander carries a landing camera and a panoramic camera for imaging its surroundings. A ground-penetrating radar to provide insights below the lunar surface. It also carries a lunar mineral spectrometer to assess the composition of the surface. The spacecraft is expected to deploy a Chinese national flag, as done by the Chang’e-5 lander.

The mission also carries international scientific payloads from France, Sweden, Italy, and a Pakistani cubesat. The collaborations reflect Chinese efforts to boost its international cooperation in space exploration.

France is providing the Detection of Outgassing RadoN (DORN) instrument which will detect radon outgassing from the lunar crust. Sweden, with ESA support, will contribute the “Negative Ions at the Lunar Surface” (NILS) payload. An Italian passive laser retro-reflector will also be aboard. The 7-kg ICUBE-Q cubesat is a collaboration between Pakistan’s national space agency, SUPARCO, and China’s Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

Chang’e-6 is part of China’s broader lunar goals. The country will follow up with two missions to the south pole of the moon. These are Chang’e-7 in 2026 and Chang’e-8 around 2028.

Beyond this, the country aims to launch its first crewed lunar mission by 2030. Both sets of missions are part of a plan to establish a permanent lunar base. This project is known as the International Lunar Research Station (ILRS) program, planned for the 2030s. A number of countries and organizations have signed up to the project.

Chang’e-6 will also provide experience of some of the operations and maneuvers needed to collect and return samples from Mars. China aims to launch such a mission around 2030.

Share news on social media

Follow us on social network

China’s latest answer to OpenAI is ‘Chat Xi PT’

Creating fakes with artificial intelligence has become easier - news agency representatives discuss in Lisbon

Members of diplomatic corps accredited in Azerbaijan complete their visit to Lachin

Azerbaijan’s national flag raised in four villages of Gazakh district VIDEO

ADB approves 500 mln USD loan to Indonesia

Cabinet of Ministers holds meeting on State Program for socio-economic development of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic

Wreckage of US World War Two submarine found after 80 years

A fire in an apartment building in Hanoi, Vietnam, kills 14 people and injures 6

Pacers trying to regroup after star Tyrese Haliburton leaves Game 2 with hamstring, chest injuries

More than 100 feared dead in massive landslide in Papua New Guinea

Azerbaijan and Russia explore prospects for tourism cooperation

Delegation from Black Sea Universities Network visits Baku Higher Oil School

"Lines of the Invisible" exhibition launches at Heydar Aliyev Center

Representatives of Moroccan travel agencies visit Azerbaijan

Members of diplomatic corps accredited in Azerbaijan begin visit to Lachin city

Hikmet Hajiyev: If we succeed as the host of COP29, it will be beneficial for the entire world

Military Police Department personnel hold combat training classes VIDEO

Press release of Office of Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Azerbaijan Shahin Mustafayev

® Inauguration ceremony of the "Kapital Bank Room" at Baku Engineering University

11 killed in sugar factory explosion in Tanzania

Oil prices fall in global markets

Baku Airport offers passengers about 80 destinations in the summer season

Nokia and Baktelecom deploy commercial XGS-PON services in Azerbaijan

Azerbaijani oil price down in global markets

First Vice-President Mehriban Aliyeva congratulated judoka Zelym Kotsoiev on winning world championship title

Azerbaijan, Georgia discuss military cooperation

Azerbaijani female wrestler grabs European bronze in Baku

Various aspects of Azerbaijan-US bilateral agenda discussed

Azerbaijani aerobic gymnasts ready for action in Yokohama

Azerbaijani judoka Zelym Kotsoiev crowned World Champion in Abu-Dhabi

Türkiye’s ship starts gas drilling at Goktepe-2 well in Black Sea

Iran’s President Raisi to be buried in Mashhad

Minister: Restoration work in liberated territories is in line with Azerbaijan’s COP29 obligations

Azerbaijan eyes cooperation with S&P Global Commodity Insights

IRIA Chairperson meets with BHOS female students

Azerbaijani Milli Majlis, Turkish Grand National Assembly discuss interparliamentary cooperation

Israeli war cabinet agrees to resume hostage negotiations with Hamas

Kristi Man: Women's wrestling is developing at rapid pace in Azerbaijan

ANAS revises nearly 30 articles on Wikipedia about Nakhchivan

UN official urges change in lifestyle to combat climate crisis

Azerbaijan’s Kotsoiev advances to final of World Judo Championships Abu Dhabi 2024

Beijing retaliates against US blacklisting of Chinese firms for alleged exports to Russia

Azerbaijani ambassador presented with UAE’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Excellence Award

Leaders of South Korea, China and Japan will meet Monday for their first trilateral talks since 2019

President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon concludes his state visit to Azerbaijan

Seven Azerbaijani athletes to compete at Balkan Athletics Championships

Emomali Rahmon: We are optimistic about future development of Tajikistani-Azerbaijani relations VIDEO

President of Tajikistan: We are satisfied with the level of fruitful cooperation with Azerbaijan VIDEO

President Ilham Aliyev: Days of Culture of Tajikistan in Azerbaijan are important event in bilateral relations

President Ilham Aliyev: Signed documents significantly strengthen the legal framework of Azerbaijan-Tajikistan relations VIDEO

Kazakhstan approves maritime infrastructure development plan

President: Azerbaijan-Tajikistan interstate relations reached the highest level today

President Ilham Aliyev: We are counting on active participation of Tajikistan in COP29 VIDEO

"Zero Waste" program will once again be implemented during Baku Energy Week this year

UN relief chief allocates 2.5 mln USD in response to Burundi flooding

SpaceX launches next-gen US spy satellites and sticks the landing

Presidents of Azerbaijan and Tajikistan made press statements VIDEO

Georgia’s Prosecutor General resigns due to “complicated health condition”

Delegation of Bukharian Jews of US and Canada visit Fuzuli, Shusha and Lachin

Julen Lopetegui confirmed as new West Ham boss as former Wolves manager replaces David Moyes

Norway to further restrict entry to Russian tourists from May 29

Azerbaijan’s triple jumper claims bronze at international tournament

Central Bank: $69.6m worth of demand fully covered at FX auction

Emomali Rahmon: Azerbaijan is a reliable friend and partner for Tajikistan

Azerbaijan and Tajikistan signed documents VIDEO

President Ilham Aliyev: Trans-Caspian transport corridor is becoming increasingly popular in European and Central Asian regions

Azerbaijani and Tajikistani Presidents held expanded meeting VIDEO

Doncic leads strong close by Mavericks for 108-105 win over Wolves in Game 1 of West finals

Delegations of defense ministries of Azerbaijan and Serbia hold working meeting

Azerbaijani chess player wins international tournament in UAE

PLA conducts joint military drills surrounding Taiwan Island

Azerbaijani oil price down in global markets

AZAL offers flights to Bucharest and Sofia starting from €99

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev held one-on-one meeting with President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon VIDEO

Azerbaijani MPs to attend NATO PA spring session in Bulgaria

Oil prices fall in global markets

Atalanta 3-0 Leverkusen: Lookman treble brings UEFA Europa League glory to Bergamo

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev was interviewed by Euronews TV channel VIDEO

Official welcome ceremony was held for President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon VIDEO

Mastercard accelerates card fraud detection with generative AI technology

Azerbaijan joins meetings of European Federation of Accountants and Auditors for SMEs

Azerbaijan Army servicemen participate in courses held in Türkiye

First human case of H5N1 detected in Australia

President of Tajikistan visits Alley of Martyrs in Baku

President of Tajikistan visits grave of National Leader Heydar Aliyev in Alley of Honors

Azerbaijani Greco-Roman wrestler takes European silver in Baku

BTA to cover thoroughly upcoming European elections

BHOS hosts ‘Addım At’ forum

President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon arrives in Azerbaijan for state visit

Azerbaijan`s Milli Majlis vehemently condemns biased views of Chairman of Luxembourg's Chamber of Deputies

World’s most expensive feather sold in New Zealand auction for $28,000

Man charged with spying for Hong Kong found dead

Prime Minister Ali Asadov attends official commemoration ceremony in Islamic Republic of Iran

® New feature from Birbank: Ninja offers in the mobile app now

Brazil surpasses record 5 mln dengue cases

Istanbul to host 2026 UEFA Europa League, 2027 Conference League finals

Speaker of Azerbaijan`s Milli Majlis meets with Turkish parliamentary delegation

Azerbaijan, Türkiye discuss prospects for military cooperation

Date of Baku-hosted 2025 Minifootball World Cup revealed

Istanbul hosts 2nd Meeting of Presidents and Representatives of Councils of Judges of OTS member and observer countries