First Private Moon Mission Launch on Chinese Rocket

 

 

The 4M mission, a project developed by Luxembourg-based company LuxSpace, will piggyback on a Chinese moon flyby unofficially dubbedChang’e 5-T1, which aims to test out technology for a future lunar sample-return mission. Liftoff is set for 1:59 p.m. EDT (1759 GMT) Thursday from China’s Xichang Satellite Launch Center.

If all goes according to plan, the Chang’e 5-T1 spacecraft will zoom around the moon and back toward Earth, ultimately sending a test capsule barreling into our planet’s atmosphere on Oct. 31. The main purpose is to try out tech that could get moon dirt and rocks to Earth — the goal of China’s Chang’e 5 mission, currently slated to blast off in 2017

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