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Rocks from moon return to earth

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China’s Chang’e-6 lunar probe has successfully returned to Earth after a two-month journey to the far side of the Moon. The unmanned spacecraft landed in the Inner Mongolia desert on Tuesday morning, carrying rare rock and soil samples from the Moon.

These samples, collected from the unexplored far side of the Moon, could help scientists learn more about how planets are formed. This mission is seen as a significant achievement for China’s growing space program. President Xi Jinping called it a “landmark achievement.”

Chang’e-6’s success follows the Chang’e-5 mission nearly four years ago, which collected samples from the Moon’s near side. This latest mission was riskier, as landing on the Moon’s ‘dark side’ had only been done once before, by China’s Chang’e-4 probe.

The China National Space Administration (CNSA) explained that Chang’e-6 used a computer system to navigate and avoid obstacles, landing in the South Pole-Aitken Basin. This crater, always facing away from Earth, is difficult to reach due to its distance and rough terrain.

On the Moon, Chang’e-6 used a drill and robotic arm to gather lunar soil and rocks. While the exact amount of material brought back is still unknown, scientists are eager to study it.

This mission highlights China’s advancements in space exploration and contributes to our understanding of the Moon and planetary formation.

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