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A Chinese probe lands on the far side of the moon in an unprecedented mission to collect soil samples  Sciences

A Chinese probe lands on the far side of the moon in an unprecedented mission to collect soil samples Sciences

The Chang’e-6 probe made a soft landing in the Aitken Basin

China’s Chang’e-6 probe has successfully made a soft landing on the far side of the moon to collect samples, the latest advance in China’s space programme, China’s official Xinhua News Agency reported on Sunday (2).

The Chang’e-6 probe landed in the massive Aitken Basin, one of the largest known volcanic craters in the solar system, Xinhua reported, citing the Chinese space agency.

This will be the first time samples have been collected from this very small area that has been explored from a satellite. China is the only country that has been able to reach this lunar region.

Now that it has landed, the probe will attempt to collect lunar dust and rocks, in addition to conducting other experiments in the surrounding areas. The process must be completed within two days.

The probe will use two methods to collect samples: a drill to collect samples from underground, and a robotic arm to collect samples from the surface.

Later, Chinese engineers will attempt an unprecedented launch from the far side of the moon.

Scientists say the far side of the Moon – so called because it is not visible from Earth – has great potential for science because the Moon’s craters are less covered by ancient lava flows than the visible side.

Material collected from the far side could provide unprecedented information about how the Moon formed.

Under President Xi Jinping, the country has devoted great efforts to realizing its “space dream.”

Beijing has invested heavily in its space program over the past decade, and has pursued a series of ambitious initiatives aimed at closing the gap with the two traditional space powers, the United States and Russia.

The Asian country has achieved many notable achievements, including the construction of the Tiangong Space Station, or “Heavenly Palace.”

China also sent robotic probes to Mars, and became the third country in the world to put humans into orbit.

China launches a mission to explore the “hidden” side of the moon

But for the United States, China’s space program has been used to hide military objectives and attempt to achieve space dominance.

“We believe that much of your so-called civilian space program is a military program,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson told US lawmakers on Capitol Hill in April.

China intends to send a manned mission to the moon in 2030 and also plans to build a base on the surface of the natural satellite.

The United States also plans to return astronauts to the Moon around 2026, through the Artemis 3 mission.