China’s spacecraft takes off from far side of Moon to bring home first samples


PTI, Jun 4, 2024, 2:16 PM IST

In a remarkable feat, China’s Chang’e-6 probe lifted off from the far side of the Moon on Tuesday, embarking on its journey back to Earth with the first rock samples ever collected from this rarely explored terrain. This ambitious mission underscores China’s rising status as a major space power.

The China National Space Administration (CNSA) announced that the ascender has successfully entered a pre-set orbit around the Moon after its liftoff at 7:38 a.m. (Beijing Time). The return journey is expected to take approximately three weeks, with a landing anticipated in Inner Mongolia around June 25.

Upon completion of the sampling, the Chinese national flag was unfurled on the Moon’s far side for the first time, marking another historic moment. Scientists expect the analysis of these samples to provide deeper insights into the Moon’s formation and evolution, thereby laying a solid foundation for future lunar exploration missions.

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