China eyes May 2024 launch for 1st-ever lunar sample-return mission to moon’s far side

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Engineers working on China’s Chang’e-6 mission have foregone family reunions over the Lunar New Year to help get the spacecraft ready for launch.

The components of the complex Chang’e-6 moon sample return mission arrived at Wenchang spaceport on Hainan island in early January. There, a team of engineers and researchers, many with extensive experience from the 2020 Chang’e-5 mission, is intensively testing and adjusting the equipment, according to a China Central Television (CCTV) report. 

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