Chang’e 5 returns with first fresh rock samples from the moon
Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III – Sci & Tech
- China’s Chang’e 5 lunar mission returned to Earth carrying around 2 kilograms of the first fresh rock samples from the moon in 44 years.
- The spacecraft recently landed in Siziwang Banner, north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.
- The probe, named after the ancient Chinese goddess of the moon, first took off from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site in Hainan on November 24th.
- Two of the Chang’e 5’s four modules landed on the moon on 1st December and collected about 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds) of samples by scooping them from the surface and drilling 2 meters into the moon’s crust.
- The samples were deposited in a sealed container that was carried back to the return module by an ascent vehicle.
- The retrieved re-entry capsule of Chang’e-5 will be airlifted to Beijing, where the capsule will be opened and the samples will be ready for analysis.
- With this, China became the third country after the United States and the Soviet Union, to collect lunar samples.
- These are also the first samples to be collected by any country after Russia in 1976.
Do you know?
- The samples were retrieved from a previously unvisited area of the moon.
- The latest samples come from a part of the moon known as the Oceanus Procellarum, or Ocean of Storms, near a site called the Mons Rumker that was believed to have been volcanic in ancient times.
- Mons Rumker, never sampled before, is geologically younger than the sampling areas of the U.S. and the Soviet missions.