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Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

China Launches Chang’e 6 Lunar Probe

Fri 03 May 2024 | 11:57 PM
Rana Atef

On Friday, China launched a lunar spacecraft which is a first-of-its-kind mission to bring back samples from the rarely explored side of the moon.

This step is a rapidly advancing Chinese space program's competition with the United States and others to explore the moon.

The Chang’e 6 lifted off at 5:27 p.m. local time from the Wenchang Space Launch Site in China’s southern island province of Hainan.

The launch of the lunar probe turned fishing village of Longlou into a major tourist attraction as the crowds headed to the village to watch the launch. In addition, a festival was organized for people who came to the village to watch the launching. 

The success of the mission will mean achieving major step in the country’s goals of landing Chinese astronauts on the moon by 2030 and building a base on the lunar surface.

Clayton Swope, deputy director of the Aerospace Security Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington said: “China is trying to prove that it’s a force to be reckoned with, and so it’s always that China is competing against everyone in space."

A successful Chang’e 6 mission would prove how China’s lunar exploration program has greatly developed in a relatively short time.

“Twenty-five years ago, they had very rudimentary space capabilities,” said Todd Harrison, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a public policy think tank based in Washington. “Going from that to where they are today — I think they’ve clearly exceeded Russia, and their space capabilities are really only second to the United States.”