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China's Chang'e-6 collects 1,935.3 grams of samples from the moon's far side


 , Updated 21:47, 28-Jun-2024

China's Chang'e-6 mission collected 1,935.3 grams of samples from the moon's far side, the China National Space Administration (CNSA) announced on Friday.

The samples were handed over to research teams from the Chinese Academy of Sciences at a ceremony held by the CNSA in Beijing.

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

The return capsule of the Chang'e-6 probe, carrying the world's first samples collected from the far side of the moon, landed in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region on June 25.

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

CNSA said it will continue to organize scientific research on the samples, sharing China's lunar exploration achievements with the international community. 

Based on the lunar sample management rules released by the CNSA and the experience in dealing with the applications for lunar samples collected by the Chang'e-5 mission, applications for the Chang'e-6 samples are expected to open to domestic research institutions and scientists in about six months, Ge said.

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

Previously, significant scientific achievements have been made through in-depth research on the lunar samples brought back by the Chang'e-5 mission, in areas such as lunar formation and evolution, space weathering, and resource utilization, the CNSA said.

Researchers have published more than 80 achievements in important domestic 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 be about two billion years old and extended the "life" of lunar volcanism 800-900 million years longer than previously known.

(With input from Xinhua)

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