«Chang’e-6» will reach the Moon in 4 days.

The lunar program of China has entered a new stage: the launch vehicle «Changzheng-5 Y8» with the lunar probe «Chang-e-6» was launched from the Wen-chang Island Launch Site. The mission is to take soil samples from the back of the Moon and bring them back to Earth.

Just over an hour later, two sets of solar panels were deployed. After that it was officially announced the successful launch of «Chang’e-6». The whole mission will last approximately 53 days.

The mass of «Chang’e-6» is 8.2 tons. The probe consists of four parts: an orbiter, a descending, lifting and return modules. After Earth-Moon transition, lunar deceleration and lunar flight, the lander and lift modules will separate and the orbiter and the return module will remain in orbit.

Soil samples (Chang’e-6 is to land in the Apollo Crater of the South Pole-Eitken Basin) will be collected using a drill and a robotic bucket. The mission has two scientific objectives: first, in situ research (geological study of the landing site) and Earth-based research (analysis of the physical characteristics and chemical composition of the regolith, determination of trace elements, isotopic composition, etc.).