China is preparing for the launch of an experimental recoverable moon orbiter, said the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense on August 10.
The orbiter will be launched before the end of this year from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province, according to a statement from the administration.
The plan is for the orbiter to be launched into lunar orbit and return to Earth at an escape velocity of 11.2 km per second.
The orbiter is one of the test models for China's new lunar probe Chang'e-5, which will be tasked with landing on the moon, collecting samples and returning to Earth.
The launch aims to test the technologies that are vital for the success of Chang'e-5, the statement said.
China already launched three unrecoverable lunar probes in 2007, 2010 and 2013 respectively.