China launches first probe to collect samples from far side of Moon

China launches first probe to collect samples from far side of Moon

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Chang'e-6 is the first of three high-wire uncrewed missions to the Moon planned by China this decade.

Its successor, Chang'e-7, will search the Moon's south pole for water, while Chang'e-8 will attempt to establish the technical feasibility of building a planned base, known as the International Lunar Research Station , Beijing has said that the “basic model” will be completed by 2030.

Scientists say the moon's dark side – so-called because it is invisible from Earth, not because it never catches the sun's rays – holds great potential for research because its craters are older than those on the near side. are less covered by lava flows.

This may mean that it is more possible to collect material that sheds light on how the Moon first formed.

“The geological age of the samples collected by Chang'e-6 will be about 4 billion years,” Ge Ping, deputy director of China's Lunar Exploration and Space Engineering Center, told reporters.

“Collecting and using lunar samples from different regions and geological eras is very valuable and important to humanity.”

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