China's Chang'e-6 Blasts Off From Moon's Far Side With Rock Samples 

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by Tyler Durden
Tuesday, Jun 04, 2024 - 09:25 PM

China's Chang'e-6 spacecraft has collected 2 kilograms (or about 4.4 pounds) of lunar rocks and soil from the moon's far side. The spacecraft lifted off on Tuesday and has begun its journey back to Earth. This marks the first time any spacecraft has accomplished this lunar soil extraction from the moon's far side as China aims for a crewed mission to the lunar surface by 2030.

State-run media outlet Xinhua News Agency reports Chang'e-6 blasted off from the lunar surface on Tuesday morning and is expected to connect with an orbiter before returning rock samples to Earth. 

If the spacecraft does not burn up on the descent into Earth's atmosphere, this would be the first time any space agency has collected samples from the moon's far side. The spacecraft is expected to return to Earth on June 25. 

Xinhua described the mission as "an unprecedented feat in human lunar exploration history." 

The spacecraft touched down on the lunar surface on Sunday. By Monday, a drill and robotic arm had been deployed to extract rock and soil samples. 

By Tuesday morning, the spacecraft blasted off from the lunar surface. 

The lunar samples collected by Chang'e-6 from the moon's far side hold huge scientific value. They could potentially provide scientists worldwide with insights into the origins of our solar system.