China becomes 1st country to bring soil samples from far side of the moon

Author:HT News Desk 2024-06-25 19:50 7

China became the first country on Tuesday to successfully bring rock and soil samples from the far side of the moon as its Chang'e 6 probe returned on Earth. The probe landed in northern China on Tuesday afternoon in the Inner Mongolian region.

In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, the return capsule of the Chang'e 6 probe is seen in Siziwang Banner, northern China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region on Tuesday(AP)

“I now declare that the Chang’e 6 Lunar Exploration Mission achieved complete success," Zhang Kejian, Director of the China National Space Administration said in a televised news conference after the landing.

Chinese President Xi Jinping congratulated the scientists and the team behind the success of Chang'e 6. He hailed the success and said that it was a “landmark achievement in our country's efforts at becoming a space and technological power.”

Chinese scientists hope that the samples will include 2.5 million-year-old volcanic rock and other material which will help answer questions about geographic differences on the moon's two sides.

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The samples “are expected to answer one of the most fundamental scientific questions in lunar science research: what geologic activity is responsible for the differences between the two sides?” said Zongyu Yue, a geologist at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, in a statement issued in the Innovation Monday, a journal published in partnership with the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The near side of the moon is visible from the Earth and the far side faces outer space. The far side of the moon is known to have mountains and impact craters, contrasting with the relatively flat expanses visible on the near side.

In recent years, with the launch of missions by India, Japan etc., moon exploration has taken centrestage. Earlier, countries like US and Russia (erstwhile Soviet Union) collected samples from the moon's near side.

Amid growing rivalry with the US in various sectors of the world, China is also flexing its might in space technology. China has launched its own space station in orbit and regularly sends crews there.

The Chang'e 6 probe had left Earth on May 3, and its journey lasted 53 days.

(With inputs from news agency AP)

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Title:China becomes 1st country to bring soil samples from far side of the moon