The State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense made the announcement Sunday, China's state-run news agency Xinhua said.
The orbiter, named the Chang'e-5, will collect lunar samples and then return to earth, and follows the mission of the Chang'e-3, which landed on the moon in December 2013.
China has conducted several unmanned explorations of the moon. However, the upcoming lunar expedition will be more complex than previous attempts, involving a take-off from the moon's surface, docking with a spacecraft in lunar orbit and returning to earth.
The orbiter to be tested in 2014 is regarded as a test model, and is currently at the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in China's Sichuan province.