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China's Historic Moon Landing: Far Side Exploration, Sample Collection, and Space Rivalry with US

A Chinese spacecraft successfully landed on the moon's far side to collect rocks. The mission is part of China's escalating space competition with the US. Attempts to collect soil and rock samples from the less-explored area.

The mission's goal is to collect soil and rock samples from the less-explored region, which will provide significant information about the differences between the moon's far and near sides.


The landing module landed at 6:23 a.m. Beijing time in the South Pole-Aitken Basin, a large crater on the moon's far side. This mission is part of the Chang'e lunar exploration programme, which is named after the Chinese moon goddess. It is the second mission aimed to return samples, following the successful Chang'e 5 mission, which retrieved samples from the near side in 2020.


China's moon programme is a key component of its expanding rivalry with the United States, as well as other countries such as Japan and India. China has already launched its own space station into orbit and frequently sends workers there. China intends to become the second nation after the United States to land a person on the moon by 2030.

Meanwhile, the United States is aiming to send astronauts back to the moon for the first time in nearly 50 years. However, NASA has lately pushed the target date out to 2026 because to delays in employing private-sector rockets to launch satellites. Even other countries, like as Japan, have experienced uncertainty in their moon missions, with a Japanese tycoon cancelling his plan to orbit the moon due to concerns over the development of SpaceX's big rocket.


In China's current mission, the lander will utilise a mechanical arm and a drill to collect up to 2 kilogrammes (4.4 pounds) of surface and subterranean material over the course of two days. An ascender aboard the lander will subsequently carry the samples in a metal vacuum container to a module orbiting the moon. Finally, the container will be transferred to a re-entry capsule, which is expected to return to Earth in China's Inner Mongolia region around June 25.


Exploring the moon's far side presents unique problems because it does not face the Earth directly and requires contact via a relay spacecraft. Additionally, the landscape is more rough, with fewer flat landing spots. The landing site for this mission is the South Pole-Aitken Basin, a 4 billion-year-old impact crater. It is the oldest and largest of its kind on the moon, measuring 2,500 kilometres (1,500 miles) in circumference and 13 kilometres (8 miles) deep. Scientists anticipate that examining this crater will yield significant information about the moon's early history and may reveal elements expelled from deep beneath its surface.

 
  • Chinese spacecraft successfully lands on the moon's far side to collect rocks

  • Mission part of China's growing space rivalry with the United States

  • Aims to gather soil and rock samples from the less-explored region


Source: AP NEWS

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