July 1, 2024 at 2:37 pm

China’s Latest Lunar Lander Gathers Samples From South Pole Basin, Planting National Flag On The Far Side Of The Moon

by Michael Levanduski

Source: Space/Adam Mann

China’s space program has been putting a lot of effort into studying the Moon in recent years, with a lot of success.

Their most recent endeavor from their Chang’e-6 lunar lander involved gathering up soil and rock samples from the South Pole-Aitken basin of the moon, an area that has had little contact with probes in the past.

In addition to successfully gathering the samples and taking off for a return flight to Earth, the Chang’e-6 has completed one more significant mission.

The probe was able to plant China’s flag in the ground. This is the first national flag that has been placed on the far-side of the Moon, which is always facing away from the Earth and has had far fewer visits from probes.

Source: Universe Today

The space agency has released photos of the lunar lander’s robotic arm taking the flag and planting it into the ground.

This is especially significant since China only had its first mission to the moon just 17 years ago. It illustrates the importance and focus that they are placing on our closest neighbor in space.

Interestingly, the flag is made from crushed volcanic rock basalt. This basalt is then made into filaments, which are about a third the diameter of a human hair.

There are two reasons for using basalt rather than other materials.

First, this material will stand up much better to the harsh temperatures and other environmental hazards on the moon than more common materials.

Second, the moon has a lot of basalt on its surface. China reports that using this material is helping them to prepare for future missions to the moon, including setting up a more permanent presence there.

Zhou Changyi, an engineer for the Chang’e-6 lunar lander, commented on this through the state-own CCTV.

 “The lunar surface is rich in basalt. Since we’re building a lunar base in the future, we will most likely have to make basalt into fibers and use it as building materials.”

This is just the latest in a series of missions to the Moon from China, and they have made it clear that they are going to continue to make this a priority.
Source: Tesla News

As NASA is still talking about making a return to the lunar surface, China is pushing ahead and making real accomplishments with exploring our Moon.

I hope they continue to make lunar exploration a priority.

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.