|Mission type||Orbiter, Lander, lunar rover, hoping probe|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||2026 (planned)|
|Rocket||Chang Zheng 5|
Chang'e 7 (Chinese: 嫦娥七号; pinyin: Cháng'é qīhào) is a planned robotic Chinese lunar exploration mission expected to be launched in 2026 to target the lunar south pole. Like its predecessors, the spacecraft is named after the Chinese moon goddess Chang'e. The mission will include an orbiter, a lander, a mini-hopping probe, and two rover including Rashid 2 rover provided by the United Arab Emirates.
The Chinese Lunar Exploration Program is designed to be conducted in four phases of incremental technological advancement: The first is simply reaching lunar orbit, a task completed by Chang'e 1 in 2007 and Chang'e 2 in 2010. The second is landing and roving on the Moon, as Chang'e 3 did in 2013 and Chang'e 4 did in 2019 (The rover still being active as of early 2022). The third is collecting lunar samples from the near-side and sending them to Earth, a task accomplished by Chang'e 5 in 2020/21 and to be met by the future Chang'e 6 mission. The fourth phase consists of development of a robotic research station near the Moon's south pole. The program aims to facilitate a crewed lunar landing in the 2030s and possibly build an outpost near the lunar south pole.
The official scientific objectives of Chang'e 7 mission are:
- Investigation and study of lunar surface environment and water ice in its soil.
- High-precision investigation and study of morphology, composition and structure of the Moon.
- Investigation and study of interior structure, magnetic field and thermal characteristics of the Moon.
- General investigation and study of surface environment of the south pole of the Moon.
- Moon-based observation and study of the Earth's magnetotail and plasmasphere.
- "The Space Review: What is China doing at the lunar distant retrograde orbit?". www.thespacereview.com. Retrieved 2022-04-12.
- Jones, Andrew (19 September 2022). "UAE rover to fly on China's Chang'e-7 lunar south pole mission". SpaceNews. Retrieved 19 September 2022.
- Jones, Andrew (29 March 2022). "Next China moon mission will need precision landing to target ice at south pole". Space.com. Retrieved 8 April 2022.
- Chang'e 4 press conference. CNSA, broadcast on 14 January 2019.
- China's Planning for Deep Space Exploration and Lunar Exploration before 2030. (PDF) XU Lin, ZOU Yongliao, JIA Yingzhuo. Space Sci., 2018, 38(5): 591-592. doi:10.11728/cjss2018.05.591
- A Tentative Plan of China to Establish a Lunar Research Station in the Next Ten Years. Zou, Yongliao; Xu, Lin; Jia, Yingzhuo. 42nd COSPAR Scientific Assembly. Held 14–22 July 2018, in Pasadena, California, USA, Abstract id. B3.1-34-18.
- Huang, Echo (26 April 2018). "China lays out its ambitions to colonize the moon and build a "lunar palace"". Quartz.
- "Announcement of Opportunity Solicitating for Payloads onboard Chang'E-7 Mission" (pdf). CNSA. 22 September 2022. Retrieved 22 September 2022.