Chang'e 6

Launch Time
Fri May 03, 2024 09:27 UTC

First Chinese lunar mission in cooperation with another country (France). First French scientific instruments to land on the Moon, since the Soviet Luna program.


Long March 5
Image Credit: CASC
Status: Active
Liftoff Thrust: 10,565 kN
Payload to LEO: 32,000 kg
Payload to GTO: 14,000 kg
Stages: 3
Strap-ons: 4
Rocket Height: 57.0 m
Fairing Diameter: 5.2 m
Fairing Height: 20.0 m

Mission Details

Chang'e 6

Chang'e 6 (Chinese: 嫦娥六号) is China's second lunar soil sample return mission similar to Chang'e 5 which launched in late 2020. The space probe is expected to bring back to Earth a lunar soil sample with a mass of up to two kilograms. The lander will land on the far side of the Moon, near the southern edge of the Apollo Basin. If this objective is retained it would be the first soil sample from this face ever returned to Earth, because the Apollo and Luna missions always brought back samples from the visible face of the Moon.

Chang'e 6 is part of the Chinese lunar exploration program Chang'e. The mission follows the Chang'e 1 (launched in 2007) and 2 (2010) orbiters and the Chang'e 3 (2013) and 4 (2018) rovers, as well as the Chang'e 5 mission.

The 8.2-ton space probe is composed of four modules: a service module that supports the journey between the Earth and the Moon, a lander with a mass of 3.8 tons to land on the Moon, an ascent stage that must bring the soil samples back to lunar orbit, and a return capsule that brings them back to Earth. The Chinese engineers opted for a complex sample return scenario: the ascent stage, instead of returning directly to Earth (scenario of the Soviet probes of the Luna program), has a docking with the service module: the sample is then transferred to the return capsule, which is brought back close to the Earth and detached from it to perform an atmospheric re-entry.

Foreign institutions including CNES, the French space agency, will provide several scientific instruments on the probe.

Payloads: 2
Total Mass: 8,200.0 kg
Trans Lunar Injection


LC-101, Wenchang Space Launch Site, China



84th orbital launch attempt

Long March 5

8th mission
2nd mission of 2024
7th successful mission
6th consecutive successful mission