China's Chang'e-6 mission returns with nearly two kg of rocks and soil from Moon's far side

China's Chang'e-6 mission returns with nearly two kg of rocks and soil from Moon's far side

Chinese mission marks 1st time that humans have returned samples from dark side of Earth's rocky satellite

By Yasin Gungor

ISTANBUL (AA) - China's Chang'e-6 mission had successfully returned, bringing 1,935.3 grams of soil and rocks, the first-ever from the far side of the Moon, the China National Space Administration (CNSA) announced on Friday.

A ceremony was held in Beijing to hand over lunar samples, which were safely transported to the Lunar Sample Laboratory, where researchers from the ground application system will begin storage and processing for scientific research, the statement said.

The CNSA stressed that this achievement demonstrates international cooperation in peaceful space exploration and use. However, it noted that the US should remove obstacles to such cooperation, the Chinese daily Global Times reported.

The Chang'e-6 mission marks the first time that humans have returned samples from the Moon's far side.

The far side of the Moon is the lunar hemisphere that always faces away from Earth, opposite to the near side, because of synchronous rotation in the Moon's orbit.

This mission is expected to improve understanding of the Moon's evolution while also accelerating peaceful exploration and utilization of lunar resources, the CNSA statement said.

It added that these samples are an important asset for all humanity.

Launched on May 3, 2024, the Chang'e 6 spacecraft's return vehicle carrying the lunar samples landed precisely in Siziwangqi, Inner Mongolia, on June 25. The return vehicle then arrived safely in Beijing, where researchers received the lunar sample containers.

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