China’s Chang’e 6 probe lands on lunar far side, marking 4th lunar success

China’s space agency, the China National Space Administration (CNSA), has announced that its Chang’e 6 mission lander made a successful soft landing on the far side of the moon late Saturday.

The lander softly touched down on the moon at 6:23pm on a southern portion of the Apollo crater within the South Pole-Aitken (SPA) Basin on the lunar far side, Space News reported.

The lunar landing marks a crucial achievement for China as the lander mission will soon begin collecting and bringing unique and scientifically invaluable lunar samples to Earth for analysis.

According to the United States’ decadal surveys, an SPA sample return is a “highest priority science objective”.

The Chang’e 6 mission marks China’s fourth successful lunar landing from four attempts, and the second on the far side of the moon.

It is also the third lunar landing in 2024 after Japan’s SLIM in January and Intuitive Machines’ IM-1 Odysseus lander in February.

Teams will now begin initial checks of the lander’s systems and soon begin collecting up to 2,000 grams of samples, including surface regolith and subsurface material.

Samples are expected to be sent into lunar orbit within around 48 hours. However, Chinese space authorities have yet to announce a timeline for the mission and its steps.

Samples could contain material ejected from the lunar mantle, providing insights about the moon’s composition and evolution.


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