China’s Chang’e-6 moon probe stands by for launch as space race with US heats up | Space

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Wenchang/Hong Kong
CNN

China is scheduled to launch an uncrewed lunar mission Friday that aims to bring back samples from the far side of the moon for the first time, in a potentially major step forward for the country’s ambitious space program.

The Chang’e-6 probe – China’s most complex robotic lunar mission to date – marks a key milestone in the country’s push to become a dominant space power with plans to land astronauts on the moon by 2030 and build a research base on its south pole.

The expected launch of the probe on a Long March-5 rocket from the Wenchang Space Launch Center in south China’s Hainan island comes as a growing number of countries, including the United States, eye the strategic and scientific benefits of expanded lunar exploration in an increasingly competitive field.

China’s planned 53-day mission would see the Chang’e-6 lander touch down in a gaping crater on the moon’s far side, which never faces Earth. China became the first and only country to land on the moon’s far side during its 2019 Chang’e-4 mission…

Source www.cnn.com

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