A Chinese projectile departs for the far side of the Moon

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By Creative Media News

  • China launches Chang’e-6 probe to far side of Moon
  • Mission aims to collect lunar samples for analysis
  • Part of China’s ambitious space exploration program

A purported global first, China has launched a probe to collect samples from the far side of the Moon.

The Chang’e-6 probe was deployed from the Wenchang Space Launch Center atop an unmanned rocket at approximately 17:27 local time (10:27 BST).

The objective of the 53-day mission is to return to Earth for analysis of approximately two kilograms of lunar samples.

It will attempt a relaunch from the lunar side that is not in line with Earth.

This is referred to as the dark side of the Moon not because it does not reflect the sun’s beams, but because it is not visible from Earth. 

Compared to the adjacent side, it has a thicker, older crust with more craters that are less obscured by ancient volcanic flows. 

Scientists anticipate that this will facilitate the collection of materials that may provide insights into the Moon’s formation. 

Vice director of China’s Lunar Exploration and Space Engineering Center Ge Ping informed reporters before the launch, “For the first time, Chang’e-6 will collect samples from the far side of the Moon.” 

The probe was designated with the name of a prominent figure in Chinese mythology and the Moon deity. 

A gentle landing is anticipated in the South Pole-Aitken Basin, a vast depression that reaches depths of up to 8 kilometers (5 miles) and has a width of 2,500 kilometers (1,553 miles). 

The mission then intends to conduct experiments and collect lunar soil and rocks using a drill and a mechanical limb, according to the China National Space Administration. 

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

This is the initial of three unmanned lunar missions that China has formulated for the current decade. 

Chang’e-7 will conduct a water search at the lunar south pole, while Chang’e-8 will assess the technical viability of constructing the International Lunar Research Station, a proposed base.

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On its December 2020 return, its predecessor, Chang’e-5, extracted the earliest lavas ever discovered on the Moon. 

The latest phase of China’s space exploration program, which competes with the United States, commenced on Friday with takeoff. 

China achieved the historic milestone of being the first nation to successfully deploy a rover to the far side of the Moon five years ago. 

Its objectives are to have deployed its initial lunar probes by 2030 and to have dispatched emissaries to gather samples from Mars and Jupiter. 

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