China plans to launch three more missions to the Moon over the next ten years to tap the satellite's resources. The announcement comes a day after it became known that the Chang'e 5 mission discovered a previously unknown mineral found in the lunar soil, which China hopes to use as an energy source.
The new lunar mineral is called Changesite-(Y) – a colorless transparent columnar crystal. The recently discovered mineral also contains helium-3, which could be the future source of energy for humanity.
China will attempt to launch the Chang'e-6 mission in 2024 to obtain new samples of lunar rock. The next Chang'e-7 mission will also launch in 2024. It will target the Moon's south pole, where scientists believe there is the best chance of finding water.
The Chang'e-8 lunar mission is expected to take place in 2027, and its exact details are not yet known. China eventually plans to build an international research station on the Moon.