News Brief

China's Chang'e-6 Successfully Lands On Far Side Of Moon, To Become First Probe To Bring Lunar Sample From There

Nishtha Anushree

Jun 02, 2024, 11:01 AM | Updated 11:01 AM IST

China's Chang'e-6 on far side of moon
China's Chang'e-6 on far side of moon

China's Chang'e-6 lunar probe successfully landed on the moon's far side at UTC 22:23 on 1 June. After landing in the South Pole-Aitken Basin, it will start lunar sampling.

"Chang'e-6 made history as the second successful probe to land on the far side of the moon and the first sample-return probe to do so," China Space National Administration (CNSA) said.

Besides its main mission of sample collecting, Chang'e 6 also carried a mini lunar rover. Once deployed, it can be the third lunar rover China sent to the moon, after the larger predecessors Yutu-1 and Yutu-2.

This comes amid efforts of many countries, including China's rival United States, to exploit lunar minerals so that long-term astronaut missions can be sustained and moon bases can be deployed.

Other than China, no country has landed before one the far side of the moon. This is because communication with the earth becomes difficult for the back side (facing away from the earth) of the moon.

The Chang'e-6 probe was launched by a Chinese Long March-5 rocket from Wenchang Space Launch Center on the southern island of Hainan in the second week of May.

"The sampling on the far side of the moon includes both drilling and surface sampling methods, and scientific exploration on the far side of the moon will also be carried out," CNSA said.

Nishtha Anushree is Senior Sub-editor at Swarajya. She tweets at @nishthaanushree.

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