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Chang'e 6 Returns: Lunar Probe Brings Historic Samples from Moon's Far Side 2024-07-23 02:13:15

Chang'e 6 Returns with Historic Samples from Moon's Far Side

China's Chang'e 6 lunar probe has made history by returning to Earth with rock and soil samples from the little-explored far side of the moon. The probe successfully landed in northern China's Inner Mongolian region on Tuesday afternoon, marking a significant milestone in global space exploration.

I now declare that the Chang'e 6 Lunar Exploration Mission achieved complete success," announced Zhang Kejian, Director of the China National Space Administration, in a televised news conference following the landing. Chinese scientists eagerly anticipate studying samples expected to include 2.5 million-year-old volcanic rock and other materials. These samples could provide crucial insights into the geological differences between the moon's near and far sides, which have distinct landscapes of mountains, impact craters, and flat expanses.

While previous missions by the U.S. and Soviet Union gathered samples from the moon's near side, Chang'e 6 is the first to retrieve materials from the far side, representing a significant achievement amidst growing global competition in space exploration. China's advancements in space, including the establishment of its space station and manned missions, underscore its ambitions to become a leading space and technological power.

President Xi Jinping praised the Chang'e team, hailing the mission as a "landmark achievement" for China's space endeavors. The probe, which departed Earth on May 3 and spent 53 days in transit, drilled into the lunar surface to gather samples before launching back to Earth. Notably, Chang'e 6 also planted a Chinese flag on the moon's far side before its return journey.

These samples are expected to answer fundamental questions in lunar science research, shedding light on the geological activities shaping the moon's two distinct hemispheres," noted Zongyu Yue, a geologist at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Researchers are particularly interested in understanding the effects of past meteorite strikes preserved in the moon's material.

China's successful missions to the moon, including Chang'e 5's collection of near side samples, signify its expanding capabilities in space exploration and scientific research. As the samples undergo analysis, they hold the potential to deepen our understanding of lunar evolution and planetary dynamics, marking a pivotal moment in humanity's quest to explore the cosmos.

In conclusion, the return of Chang'e 6 with samples from the moon's far side represents a remarkable achievement in China's space exploration endeavors. The successful mission not only marks a global first in retrieving materials from this less-explored lunar region but also underscores China's growing prowess in space technology and scientific research. As scientists eagerly await the analysis of these samples, anticipation is high for the insights they may provide into the geological history and evolution of the moon. This milestone reaffirms humanity's ongoing quest to unravel the mysteries of the cosmos and sets the stage for further advancements in lunar exploration and beyond.

Science

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