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Chinese mission collects 1.935,3 grams of samples from the far side of the Moon

Scientists are already beginning to analyze the material obtained for the first time in history.

China's Chang'e-6 mission collected 1.935,3 grams of samples from the far side of the Moon, the China National Space Administration (CNSA) announced Friday.

Zhang Kejian, director of the CNSA, handed over the sample container to Ding Chibiao, vice president of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, along with the sample certificate at a ceremony in Beijing.

Minister of Industry and Information Technology Jin Zhuanglong presided over the handover ceremony.

According to preliminary calculations, the Chang'e-6 mission collected 1.935,3 grams of lunar samples, the CNSA said.

Researchers weighing lunar samples from Chang'e-6. Xinhua Photo

“We have found that the samples brought back by Chang'e-6 are more viscous compared to the previous ones, with the presence of lumps. These are observable characteristics,” Ge Ping, deputy director of the CNSA Lunar Exploration and Space Engineering Center, who is also the spokesperson for the Chang'e-6 mission, told reporters at the ceremony.

The researchers will then carry out the storage and processing of the lunar samples as planned and begin scientific research work.

The samples, the first to be collected on the far side of the Moon in human history, have unique scientific significance as they will further improve the understanding of lunar evolution, accelerate the pace of peaceful exploration and utilization of lunar resources, and will serve as an important asset for all of humanity.

Researchers loading lunar samples from Chang'e-6. Xinhua Photo

The CNSA committed to continue maintaining the spirit of lunar exploration, characterized by “pursuing dreams, daring to explore, collaborating to overcome challenges and achieving mutually beneficial cooperation”, in order to ensure the proper management of the samples.

The entity stated that it will organize scientific research of the samples and share China's lunar exploration achievements with the international community.

Based on the lunar sample management rules published by the CNSA and the experience in handling requests for lunar samples collected by the Chang'e-5 mission, it is expected that those for the Chang'e-6 samples will be opened to national research institutions and scientists in about six months, Ge said.

Researchers placing the Chang'e-6 lunar sample container in a protective case. Xinhua Photo

Regarding international applications, Ge noted that China has always maintained a positive and open attitude, and welcomes scientists from all countries to submit applications in accordance with relevant procedures.

Significant scientific successes have previously been achieved through in-depth investigation of lunar samples returned by the Chang'e-5 mission, in areas such as lunar formation and evolution, space weathering and resource utilization, according to the CNSA.

Researchers have published more than 80 achievements in leading national and international journals, including the discovery of the new lunar mineral Changesite-(Y), the sixth discovered on the Moon, and the “youngest” basalt on the Moon, which was determined to have about 2.000 million years and extended the “life” of lunar volcanism between 800 and 900 million years longer than previously known.

The Chang'e-6 probe was launched into orbit on May 3. The return module, carrying the lunar samples, landed precisely in the flag-designated area of ​​Siziwang in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region on June 25, marking the conclusion of a mission that It was declared a total success.

The Chang'e-6 return module was subsequently transported safely to Beijing. Researchers opened it and removed the lunar sample container on Wednesday, according to the CNSA.


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