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Rock samples from moon reach Chinese return module

Rock samples from moon reach Chinese return module
6 June 2024 21:36

Beijing (dpa)

The ascent module of the Chinese lunar probe Chang'e-6 aiming to bring rock samples from the far side of the moon to Earth successfully docked with the main spacecraft in lunar orbit on Thursday, the official news agency Xinhua reported.

After docking, the collected samples were automatically transferred to the return vehicle. The return journey to Earth will now begin "at a suitable time," Xinhua reported. The landing is planned in Inner Mongolia in northern China.

At the beginning of May, Chang'e-6 - named after the Chinese moon goodess - took off on its mission from the Wenchang space centre on the southern Chinese island of Hainan.

After just over four days in flight, the probe entered lunar orbit and circled the Earth's satellite to find a suitable time and place for landing.

Last Sunday, it reached the moon's largest and oldest impact crater in the South Pole-Aitken Basin.

Scientists have long wanted to obtain rock samples from this region, as they may provide information about the formation of the moon, the Earth and the early history of the solar system.

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