Thursday, July 25, 2024

China’s rocket reaches the far reaches of the moon

video title, China has launched a probe aimed at collecting the first samples from the far side of the Moon.

China has launched a probe to collect samples from the far side of the Moon, the first in the world.

An uncrewed rocket carrying the Chang’e-6 spacecraft blasted off from the Wenchang Space Launch Center at around 17:27 local time (10:27 BST).

The 53-day mission aims to bring two kilograms of lunar samples back to Earth for analysis.

It will try to get away from Earth and relaunch from the side of the Moon.

It is described as the dark side of the moon because it cannot be seen from Earth, not because it does not catch the sun’s rays.

It has a thicker, more cratered older crust that is less covered by ancient volcanic flows than the adjacent side.

Scientists hope this will make it easier to collect material that could shed light on how the moon formed.

Jie Bing, deputy director of China’s Lunar Exploration and Space Engineering Center, told reporters ahead of the launch: “Chang’e-6 will collect samples from the far side of the moon for the first time.”

image caption, The rocket was launched from the Wenchang Space Launch Center in southern China’s Hainan Province.

The study is named after the moon goddess and one of the most famous figures in Chinese mythology.

A soft landfall is expected in the South Pole-Aitken Basin, a broad depression 2,500 km (1,553 mi) wide and 8 km (5 mi) deep.

It then aims to collect lunar soil and rocks and conduct tests using a drill and mechanical arm, the China National Space Administration said.

It will use a relay satellite called Queqiao 2 to communicate with Earth, it added.

The launch marks the first of three unmanned missions to the moon planned by China this decade.

Chang’e-7 will search the moon’s south pole for water, and Chang’e-8 will attempt to establish the technical feasibility of building a planned base known as the International Lunar Research Station.

Friday’s lift-off marks the latest phase of China’s space exploration program to compete with the United States.

China became the first country to land a rover on the far side of the moon five years ago.

By 2030, it aims to put its first astronauts on the moon and send probes to collect samples from Mars and Jupiter.

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