China’s Chang’e-6 Prepares for Lunar Sample Return Mission

During this year’s Spring Festival, many major national projects in China are still progressing, such as the upcoming launch of the Chang’e-6 mission.

It is reported that Chang’e-6 will head to the moon in the first half of this year and return after collecting samples. During the Spring Festival, related tests were carried out at the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site in China to prepare for the launch in the first half of the year.

The staff stated that Chang’e-6 has safely arrived at the launch site and has entered a critical stage. During the Spring Festival, it is necessary to ensure that the status of the detector is good and that each step is completed with quality assurance as planned.

The Chang’e-6 mission is more complex than any previous lunar exploration, involving the return of samples from the far side of the moon and exploring areas unknown to humanity.

Especially after landing on the moon, the detector must have autonomous sampling, ascent, and take-off capabilities, which are challenging tasks. It is reported that so far, humans have conducted more than 10 lunar sample return missions, all located on the near side of the moon. The far side of the moon is generally older than the near side and contains one of the three major lunar landforms, the Aitken Basin, which has significant scientific research value.

The pre-selected landing area for the Chang’e-6 mission is located in the South Pole-Aitken Basin on the far side of the moon, with the aim of discovering and collecting lunar samples from different regions and ages to enhance human understanding of the moon.

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