China has let it be known its Chang'e-4 lander will touch down on the dark side of the moon some time in 2018.
State-directed organ Xinhua reports that the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense has picked the year after next for its landing.
Chang'e-4 will land on the dark side and stay there to conduct geological investigations. The craft is billed as “very similar to Chang'e-3 in structure but can handle more payload.”
The Xinhua report also mentions plans for Chang'e-5, a mission that will land on Luna and then return to Terra Firma, but doesn't offer a launch date. ®