China boosts its ambitious program. Chengesite-(Y) contains helium-3, which could be a future energy source.
China is targeting the Moon and plans to launch three unmanned missions to the satellite in the next 10 years.
The CNSA , the Chinese equivalent of NASA , has received approval to send three orbiters to the Moon as part of its Chang’e lunar program , reports Bloomberg .
China makes the announcement after confirming the discovery of a new mineral on the Moon .
The key to the new mineral on the Moon
The new mineral discovered by China is called Chengesite-(Y) and was found in a sample collected by the Chang’e 5 mission in 2020.
Chengesite-(Y) was described by the official Global Times newspaper as “a phosphate mineral in columnar crystal”. This mineral contains helium-3, which could be a future source of energy.
It is not ruled out that China may have plans to carry out space mining.
China and its space ambitions
China ‘s lunar exploration program was founded in 2004 and has proven its worth by sending the Chang’e missions to the dark side of the Moon in 2019.
China also reached Mars in 2021, deploying an exploration vehicle from the Utopia Planitia.
China invests billions of dollars in its space program and is working on assembling its own space station Tiangong (Heavenly Palace, in Chinese).