China Plans More Lunar Missions after Discovering a New Mineral There
The decision was made after China discovered a new mineral found in lunar deposits that could become a new source of energy for humanity. China eventually plans to build an international research station on the Moon.
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.