China plans three lunar missions after discovering a new lunar mineral

  • China aims to launch three missions to the Moon over the next decade as part of the Chang’e Lunar Program.
  • The China National Space Administration got mission approval after it found a new mineral.
  • The mineral, Changesite- (Y), could be a future energy source and has been found in lunar samples.

China aims to launch three unmanned missions to the moon after discovering a new lunar mineral that could be a future energy source.

It announced Saturday that the space race between China and the United States is accelerating after the National Space Administration in Beijing got the green light to launch three orbits to the moon within the next 10 years. The news was first mentioned by Bloomberg.

It comes a day after China became the third country to discover a new lunar mineral, which has been called Changesite-(Y), according to Chinese state-controlled newspaper Global Times.

China’s Chang’e-5 mission recovered samples from the moon in 2020 and was described by the Global Times as “a phosphate mineral in columnar crystals” found in lunar rock particles. The metal contains helium-3, which could be an energy source in the future.

This discovery may lead to more pressure on the United States to intensify its efforts after the Artemis I mission to the moon postponed for the second time.

Moon mining may be the next source of tension between nations, as NASA is also examining the moon’s south pole as China plans to build a research station in cooperation with Russia.

China has recently accelerated its efforts in space exploration Building a space stationlaunch a number of tasks to moon sample collection He placed a rover called Zhurong on Mars earlier this year to compete with NASA.

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The United States remains the only country to put astronauts on the moon, with the last landing nearly 50 years ago on the Apollo 17 mission, according to NASA. website.

The US Apollo 11 mission was the first to bring samples from another planet to Earth in July 1969, with about 49 pounds (22 kilograms) of material from the lunar surface.

China National Space Administration has been contacted for comment.

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