successfully lands on the far side of the Moon to collect samples

The ship will spend three days shoveling rocks and dust from the surface and underground.

Robot Chang’e-6 China successfully landed on the far side of the Moon this morning to collect about two kilograms of lunar samples and bring them back to Earth. This is the second mission to return after Chang’e 5 will return in 2020 with 1.73 kg of material collected from the near side of the satellite. The Asian superpower has once again achieved another milestone in its space race by reaching an uncharted destination.

The robot ship was launched into space on May 3 aboard a rocket. Long March 5 and entered lunar orbit five days later. This Sunday (early morning in Spain), the lander separated from the orbiter and headed towards Aitken Basin from the south pole, where Chang’e 6 descended into a huge crater that was formed about 4 billion years ago and which It is believed to contain ice water. There he will spend the next three days, boring into the ground with an auger and collecting rocks and dust from the surface and underground with a shovel.

Due to difficulties in communicating directly between Earth and the far side of the Moon, much of the landing process was automated, but Chinese engineers communicated with the spacecraft using instructions. sent via Queqiao-2, A communications relay satellite that China launched last March and is currently in lunar orbit.

In addition to Chinese sample collection equipment, the lander is also equipped with several international instruments: a lunar surface ion composition analyzer sent European Space Agency, detection device from France, laser corner reflector Italy And CubeSat (nanosatellite) from Pakistan.

“Our spacecraft generates energy from solar illumination, and this illumination varies depending on latitude,” he explained. Lu Yuntong, engineer China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, in an interview with state television CABLE TV. “For this mission, we chose a landing site in a temperate latitude region. We chose the Aitken Basin because of its ample solar illumination and reliable communications signals that meet engineering standards,” he said.

“This mission is necessary for people to delve into the study of the origin and evolution of the Moon, planetary evolution and the origin of the solar system,” he also noted. Hu Zhenyu, chief engineer of the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program. Wang Chi, The experienced scientist leading the project also emphasized that the mission’s goal is to expand our knowledge of the history of the Moon.

Most of the rocks collected in the satellite’s immediate regions were volcanic rocks, similar to what we might find in Iceland. “On board Chang’e 6 Important instruments such as the panoramic camera and lunar radar are found to help in sample collection and geological assessment,” Wang explained.

It is planned that after the materials have been collected, they will be launched into lunar orbit using a lifting device, the task of which will be to carry out precise docking with the lunar orbiter and cargo delivery. The samples will then be transferred to the module’s return capsule, which will be launched just before the orbiter reaches Earth.

He is expected to land by parachute on June 25. Inner Mongolia, northern Asian country. Total round trip mileage Chang’e-6 will last in total 53 days more than twice as much as its predecessor Chang’e-5. The extracted samples will be sent to the laboratory. Beijing for your test. Researchers from other countries will then also be able to request access to study lunar rocks, as happened in the previous mission in which Beijing distributed small quantities of samples to various institutions.

Scientists are confident that these samples can indicate how much ice water is stuck in a hidden region of the satellite for future manned missions. Last year, China announced that it plans to launch its first manned lunar mission before 2030.

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