The Chinese National Space Administration (CNSA) announced it. Prepare the construction of a research station on the Moon. To do this, it will launch a new exploration mission called Chang’e-8 in 2028. These are the first steps for the next International Lunar Station.
The Chang’e-8 mission aims to explore and investigate multiple lunar physical fields and regional geological profiles. It will do Moon-based Earth observations and research. Will analyze lunar samples on site and small closed terrestrial ecosystems on the lunar surface. It will form the basic structure of a lunar research station.
The Chinese lunar exploration project adheres to stated principles. They are “equality, mutual benefit, peaceful use and win-win cooperation.” It is open to the international community, the Government reported, according to the Chinese newspaper report.
«The CNSA welcomes countries and international organizations to participate. He expects them to engage in cooperation at the mission level, at the system level, and at the unit level. We will jointly achieve significant new scientific discoveries. And a shared future for humanity,” the space agency stated.
Priority will be given to tasks that involve “interactions” between spacecraft and joint exploration. Also lunar surface robots with basic operational capabilities. In general, innovative scientific cooperation projects.
There is a deadline for submitting letters of intent for international cooperation projects. It is December 31, 2023. The preliminary selection is scheduled for April 2024. The confirmation of the final selection will be in September of the same year.
The Chang’e-6 lunar mission, whose objective is to collect samples from the far side of the Moon, is also progressing as planned. It is scheduled to launch in 2024. This mission will explore the relatively older lunar terrain on the far side of the Moon. Included is the Aitken Basin, one of the three major basins on the Moon. This gives it great scientific value.
The next International Lunar Station is on the way. The future on our natural satellite seems to belong to humans. How long will it be before we have a Starbucks on the Moon?