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China Partners Egypt and Bahrain Towards Chang’e-7 Mission

China
Credit: China National Space Administration

Ibadan, 13 June 2024. – China has signed a cooperation agreement with the Egyptian Space Agency (EgSA), Bahrain’s National Space Science Agency, and the Changchun Institute of Optics, Fine Mechanics and Physics towards its upcoming Chang’e 7 lunar mission. The parties signed a Scientific and Technical Cooperation Contract for the joint development of a Hyperspectral Imager of the Lunar Surface Material on Chang’e-7. The camera will subsequently image and analyze lunar surface materials from orbit, including the moon’s polar regions.

Tang Yuhua, deputy chief designer of Chang’e-7 at the Chinese Lunar Exploration Center, and Yang Zhen, deputy director of the National Space Science Center of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, witnessed the signing. Ayman Ahmet, director of the Space Imaging Department of the Egyptian Space Agency, Ali Ocalan, senior engineer of the National Space Science Agency of Bahrain, and Han Chengshan, deputy director of the Changchun Institute of Optics, Fine Mechanics and Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and other representatives attended the event.

Ayman Ahmet said that this cooperation is the first time EgSA and Bahrain have cooperated in a lunar exploration mission, noting that it will deepen cooperation with China in lunar and deep space exploration missions in the future.

China will launch Chang’e-7 to Shackleton Crater, following the successful launch of Chang’e-6 to the lunar South Pole-Aitken Basin to retrieve lunar samples. Chang’e-6 launched in May from the Wenchang Space Launch Center to the far side of the moon and the probe successfully landed on the far side of the moon with help from the Queqiao 2 relay satellite. The Probe has gathered the necessary lunar samples and has subsequently docked with the orbiter and returner assembly in the lunar orbit in preparation for the journey back to the Earth.

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