Start exploring China to collect moon rock | Canberra Times

Start exploring China to collect moon rock | Canberra Times

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China plans to launch an unmanned spacecraft to the moon this week to bring back lunar rocks in any nation’s first attempt to retrieve samples from Earth’s natural satellite since the 1970s. Named after the ancient Chinese deity of the moon, the Chang-5 probe will test China’s ability to buy samples remotely from space, even before more complex missions. If successful, the project would only make China the third country to recover lunar models, following the United States and the Soviet Union decades ago. China’s study, scheduled to begin in the coming days, will attempt to collect 2kg of samples from a previously unseen area in a large volcanic plain known as the Oceanus Procellerum or “Ocean of Storms”. The Chang-5 mission may help answer questions such as how long the moon has been volcanically active in its interior and how its magnetic field – the key to protecting any life from the sun’s radiation – is scattering. Once in the lunar orbit, the study aims to land a pair of vehicles on the surface: a lander will drill into the ground, then transfer its soil and rock samples to a climber, which will lift and pass the dock through an orbital block. If this is successful, the samples will be transferred back to the capsule and they will return to Earth. In 2013, China made its first lunar landing. In January 2019, the Chang-4 probe touched the moon’s longest distance, the first time in any country’s space exploration. Within the next decade, China plans to establish a robot base to conduct unmanned explorations in the South Pole. In July, China on its first independent voyage to Mars introduced unmanned aerial vehicle to another planet. Australian Associated Press

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Cary Douglas

About the Author: Cary Douglas

Wayne Ma is a reporter who covers everything from oil trading to China's biggest conglomerates and technology companies. Originally from Chicago, he is a graduate of New York University's business and economic reporting program.

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