Indexed on: 14 Jun '16Published on: 11 Jun '16Published in: Acta Astronautica
A novel concept for Chinese Chang'e-4 lunar exploration mission is presented in this paper at first. After the success of Chang'e-3, its backup probe, Chang'e-4 lander/rover combination, would be upgraded and land on the unexplored lunar farside by the aid of a relay satellite near the second Earth-Moon Lagrange point. Mineralogical and geochemical surveys on the farside to study the formation and evolution of lunar crust and observations at low radio frequencies to track the signals of the Universe's Dark Ages are priorities. Follow-up Chinese lunar exploration activities before 2030 are envisioned as building a robotic lunar science station by three to five missions. Finally several methods of international cooperation are proposed.