China approves three more Moon missions over the next decade. This includes rovers, flying crafts, and the beginning of a permanent lunar base. 

The fourth phase in the Chinese lunar plan will see them return moon rocks to Earth and photograph the dark side.

Future missions will get more complex and are expected to commence in 2024. This basic model is for a lunar research station that was built on the Moon.

The station, a joint venture with Roscosmos Russian Space Agency, is scheduled to become operational in time for a crewed joint mission that will take place in 2030.

The trio, also known as Chang’e 6-7 and 8, will launch on various spacecraft in the 2020s according to Wu Yanhua – deputy head of China National Space Administration (CNSA).

This is part of China’s growing push for space exploration. China launched its first space station in 2021.

China has approved three more missions to the Moon over the coming decade, including ones involving rovers, a flying craft and the start of a permanent base

China approved three additional missions to the Moon in the next decade. These include rovers and a flying craft, as well as the establishment of a permanent base. 

The Yutu 2 rover (pictured), which almost three years ago arrived with the first spacecraft to land on the dark side of the moon, saw the object while travelling across the Von Kármán crater

The Yutu 2 rover (pictured), which almost three years ago arrived with the first spacecraft to land on the dark side of the moon, saw the object while travelling across the Von Kármán crater

Known as the International Lunar Research Station (ILRS), it will consist of a surface moon base and station in lunar orbit, with construction expected to start in 2026

It is also known as the International Lunar Research Station, (ILRS). This station will be a lunar orbiting base on the surface of the moon and a station in lunar orbit. Construction should begin in 2026.


Chang’e-6 is the first mission that will explore the Moon’s South Pole. The mission is expected to launch either in 2023, 2024.

Chang’e-7, according to Chinese space authorities, will investigate the soil, composition and space environment of Chang’e-7, while Chang’e-8 is primarily concerned with technical surface analysis.

China also plans to build a lunar base with 3D printing technology, and send a crewed mission to its surface.

Chang’e-8, which is attempting to validate technology for the project, will most likely set the foundation for it.  

Chang’e 7 will launch the first phase 4 moon mission. It is scheduled to launch in 2024. NASA expects to return humans to the Moon by then.

Multipurpose: The Chinese mission includes a relay satellite and a landing craft. It also has a mini flying vehicle, which is similar to NASA Ingenuity’s helicopter on Mars.

This collection of lunar vehicles is designed to search for evidence of ice near the lunar south pole. If there’s any, it could be used as fuel and water for future colonies.

You will be able to carry many science tools, such as a camera, mineral imager and thermometer, or even a water-molecule analyzer.

It is a mission to provide a complete picture of the lunar environment. The launch will be made on China’s biggest rocket, Long March 5.

Chang’e 6 will be launched second, though no date has been set.

This satellite was initially designed to be a backup mission for Chang’e 5, which brought back rock samples from Earth in December 2020.

The mission, now an independent one, builds on Chang’e 5’s success and will bring rock samples back home to Earth. It also carries science payloads that can be used by international partners like France, Russia, Italy, Russia, and Sweden.

The final of the trio, Chang’e 8, will launch towards the end of the decade and is the first mission to begin construction of the joint Russia-China International Lunar Research Station (ILRS).

This uncrewed mission is designed to test technology that can take lunar resources and 3D-print structures using them. 

Wu explained to CCTV, “The primary purpose of these missions is for China build the basic model, in cooperation with Russia of a lunar Research Station, with China leading the charge.” 

“The building of the station could provide us with a strong foundation to help us better understand the lunar environment, resources and how we can peacefully develop and use lunar resources.

This will be the fourth phase of the Chinese lunar plan, that has previously seen them photograph the dark side, and return samples of moon rock to the Earth

This is the fourth phase on the Chinese lunar plans. They have previously been able to photograph the dark side of the moon and send samples back to Earth. 

The goal is to create a comprehensive picture of the lunar environment, and will launch on China's largest rocket, the Long March 5

This mission will create an extensive picture of the lunar environment and launch from China’s biggest rocket, Long March 5. 

It will eventually be equipped with a fully automated base for exploring the lunar surface and conducting research without any human interaction.

Wu says that this will be extended to enable astronauts to stay on the moon’s surface for long periods of time. 

China has been operating the Chang’e 4 lunar lander/rover since 2019

The probe rocks that it has found on the horizon are currently being investigated by Chinese space enthusiasts. They have been called a “mystery house”


Chinese space agency officials work together to be a superpower in space alongside Russia and the US.

The Chang’e-4 team has already sent the Chang’e-4 first lander to the far side. They shared photos of this area of our closest neighbour, which we don’t often see.

The Chang’e-5 space probe was launched to the moon in November 2020. It collected and returned the first samples lunar soil for over 45 years.

It was in cooperation with the European Space Agency, who provided track information for the Chinese spaceship. 

Chang’e-6, the first mission to the South Pole of the Moon will launch in 2023 to 2024.

Chang’e-7, the Chinese space authority’s overall mission to study land, composition, and space environment, while Chang’e-8 will be focusing on surface technical analysis.

China also plans to build a lunar base with 3D printing technology, and send a crewed mission to its surface.

It is likely that Mission Eight will lay the groundwork as it attempts to verify and validate the technology being earmarked.

CNSA also plans to build an Earth orbiting space station for Chinese astronauts, where they will perform scientific experiments similar to those of the International Space Station crew.

In the summer 2020, the agency launched a Mars mission and in May 2021, landed a Rover on Mars.

China also appears to be working to create the first space-based solar power generator. It would transmit energy to Earth, making it one of the most important man-made objects in orbit. 

A number of space-related projects are also in the works, such as satellites for searching out signs of gravitational wave activity and Earth observation spacecrafts for monitoring climate change.