China’s lunar exploration is a prism for the country’s rapid advancement in space exploration. In 2013, it became the third country to make a soft landing on the moon, with its robotic lander Chang’e-3. For Chang’e-4, it will carry seeds of plants like potatoes and silkworm cocoons to the moon, where China hopes to eventually build a scientific outpost.

Update: This story was updated May 21 with confirmation of the launch.

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