June 18, 2024 at 11:12 pm

China Intends To Use Spacecraft To Collect First Ever Samples From The Dark Side Of The Moon

by Trisha Leigh

Source: Twitters/@Xavi_Bros

When it comes to space exploration, it can seem like everything happens in spurts; nothing for years, then a rush of activity that moves the needle.

We’re in that rush now, and China intends to make an impact by bringing back samples from the dark side of the Moon.

If successful, they would be the first nation to ever manage it.

China’s Chang’e-6 probe left Earth on March 5, and is set to land in a vast crater called the South Pole-Aitken Basin. There, it will drill down and collect more than four pounds of rocks and dust before storing it and returning it to Earth.

The container will blast into orbit and be collected by a spacecraft there.

At least, that’s the plan.

“Chang’e-6 aims to conduct systematic and long-term research on the far side of the moon so that we can analyze the structure, physical properties and composition of lunar soil, and try to update our scientific data about the moon.”

Scientists believe that being able to analyze samples from this region could give us a better understanding of how the Moon formed, and maybe even some insight into why the dark and near sides are so different.

This is another in a line of Chinese sights set on the Moon, and the have said they will have astronauts there within the next few years, too.

Yet another race is on.

If it ever stopped in the first place.

If you thought that was interesting, you might like to read about a second giant hole has opened up on the sun’s surface. Here’s what it means.