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China: Lunar mission Chang'e-6 returns to Earth with first-ever sample from Moon's far side
China
China lunar probe returns to Earth.Photo Courtesy:Screengrab from X video

China: Lunar mission Chang'e-6 returns to Earth with first-ever sample from Moon's far side

| @indiablooms | 25 Jun 2024, 05:12 pm

China's lunar probe Chang'e-6 has returned to Earth after collecting the first-ever sample from the unexplored far side of the Moon, media reports said.

The return capsule landed precisely in the designated area in Siziwang Banner, north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, and the mission is a complete success, according to the China National Space Administration (CNSA) as quoted by Xinhua news agency.

The mission was completed after two months.

China is the only country in the world to land on the Moon's far side.

The far side - which faces away from Earth - is technically challenging to reach due to its distance, and its difficult terrain of giant craters and few flat surfaces, reported BBC.

Supported by the Queqiao-2 relay satellite, the lander-ascender combination landed at the designated landing area in the South Pole-Aitken (SPA) Basin on the far side of the moon on June 2 and carried out sampling work, Xinhua reported.

On June 4, the ascender took off from the moon with samples and entered the lunar orbit. On June 6, it completed rendezvous and docking with the orbiter-returner combination and transferred samples to the returner.

Yang Wei, a researcher at the Institute of Geology and Geophysics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, told Xinhua: "The Chang'e-6 mission represents a significant milestone in the history of human lunar exploration, and it will contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of lunar evolution."

"New samples will inevitably lead to new discoveries. Fascination with the moon is rooted in Chinese culture down the ages, as evidenced by the mythological narrative of Chang'e, a lady who journeyed to and resided on the moon. Now, Chinese scientists are eagerly anticipating the opportunity to contribute to lunar science," Yang added.

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