China’s Chang’e 6 successfully lands on far side of the moon



China says its uncrewed craft has successfully landed on the far side of the Moon – an unexplored place almost no-one tries to go.
The Chang’e 6 touched down in the South Pole-Aitken Basin at 06:23 Beijing time on Sunday morning (22:23 GMT Saturday), the China National Space Administration (CNSA) said.

The mission aims to collect precious rock and soil from this region for the first time in history.

After launching from Wenchang Space Launch Center on May 03, the Chang’e 6 spacecraft had been orbiting the Moon waiting to land.

The lander component of the mission then separated from the orbiter to touch down on the side of the Moon that faces permanently away from Earth.

Supported by the Queqiao-2 relay satellite, the lander-ascender combination of the Chang’e-6 probe successfully landed at the designated landing area in the South Pole-Aitken (SPA) Basin.

After the landing, the probe is scheduled to complete sampling within two days. It has adopted two methods of moon sampling, which include using a drill to collect subsurface samples and grabbing samples on the surface with a robotic arm.

Ye Peijian, academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences has said, “It’s the first time in human history to retrieve lunar samples from the far side of the moon. If Chinese scientists succeed in obtaining lunar regolith samples from the far side, it represents a significant advancement for us.”

In addition, three international payloads installed on the lander – the lunar surface negative ion analyzer of the European Space Agency (ESA), France’s lunar radon detector and Italy’s laser retro-reflector, will boot up and start operation.


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