The Chinese space agency has spent the first few months of 2019 exploring the far side of the moon. It deployed a rover – which is now near the end of its letter Exploration journey –
The United States and Russia, which have been exploring off-world for decades, and it's pioneering some new advancements along the way. Now, China is pledging to focus on what would surely be one of its greatest scientific accomplishments to date: building a lunar base.
China's state-run Xinhua news agency first reported the declaration, which was made by the head of China's National Space Administration, Zhang Kejian, during a speech at China's Space Day celebration.
The Chang'e-4 lander, called (predictably) the Chang'e-5, which will collect samples of lunar material and then return to Earth. The mission is also scheduled for the end of 201
Plans for a Moon on the Moon are a bit more vague, however, with the country stating that it plans to build a "research station" near the South Pole of the Moon in order to make exploration and make new discoveries. China's space agency says it will accomplish this within about ten years.
China is not the only country to have plans for a lunar base, of course, and several other nations have openly discussed plans for the Moon's surface. NASA is particularly interested in the benefits of a lunar base for resource gathering, including harvesting water from the lunar surface material, which could be used on missions deeper into space such as those to Mars and beyond.
Using the Moon as a " jumping-off point "for missions deeper into the solar system could be hugely beneficial, but building on the Moon is easier said than done. If (it) happens, it will probably be the result of a huge collaboration between several nations, and China clearly wants to be part of it.