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Carrying first samples collected from far side of moon, Chang’E-6 takes from lunar surface

(Global Times) -- Carrying valuable rocks and dust collected from the far side of moon, the ascender of China’s Chang’E-6 lunar probe lifted off from the lunar surface and entered lunar orbit with success on Tuesday morning, marking an unprecedented accomplishment in the history of human lunar exploration.

Photo: CNSA

Global Times learned from the China National Space Agency (CNSA) on Tuesday that after being powered by the 3000-newton engine for approximately six minutes, the ascender  of Chang’E-6 took off from the lunar surface and entered its preset lunar orbit with success at 7:38 am on Tuesday.
The lunar probe, named after a moon goddess in Chinese mythology and the sixth in the programme, completed sample collecting mission in the South Pole-Aitken Basin on the far side of the moon from Sunday to Monday, in an intelligent and rapid fashion, per the CNSA.
During the sampling and storage process, Chinese researchers in ground laboratories simulated the sampling area’s geographic model based on data sent back by China’s Queqiao-2 relay satellite. This simulation provided critical support for decision-making and the operation of various stages of the sampling process, Global Times has learned.
The probe has overcome the significant challenges brought by the heat on the far side of moon and successfully carried out the sampling process, a core task in its mission. Using two methods — drilling with a drill and surface collection with a robotic arm — it enabled automated, diverse sampling at multiple points, per mission insiders.
The Chang’e-6 lander is equipped with various instruments, including a descent camera, a panoramic camera, a lunar soil structure detector, and a lunar mineral spectrometer.
These instruments were smoothly powered on and executed planned scientific investigations. They played a crucial role in tasks such as examining the lunar surface’s morphology and mineral composition and detecting the moon’s shallow subsurface structure.
Before the probe drilled for samples, the lunar soil structure detector analyzed the subsurface structure in the sampling area, providing valuable data for the sampling process.


(Latest Update June 5, 2024)

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