China is planning to send another lunar lander to the moon in 2024. The Chinese space agency, the China National Space Administration, announced that its next lander would use equipment from France, Sweden, Russia, and Italy. Current plans aim to land Chang’e 6 near the lunar South Pole and collect samples to return to Earth.
China has also announced plans for a crewed orbital space station and a mission that will place humans on the moon along with a mission to retrieve samples from an asteroid. China has been ramping up its space program in recent months and has plans to work with Russia on some missions.
Chang’e 6 will collect lunar samples automatically, with China saying they will be used for comprehensive analysis and research. While China confirmed that the lander would carry instruments developed by researchers in France, Sweden, Italy, and Russia, the space agency didn’t say what the instruments will do.
China is increasingly working with other countries on its space program. Currently, NASA is barred from working with China. Some of the tension between the US and China when it comes to working on technological projects comes from concerns that China would use the opportunity to steal technology.
China has already conducted one successful moon mission with a previous lander touching down on the moon’s far side. That mission was able to retrieve samples and return them to Earth for study. The new mission that China is planning will do the same thing, only from a different moon area. For now, there is no timeline on when China might try to put humans on the moon.