Chinese spacecraft lands on moon's far side to collect rocks

The accomplishment of the Chang'e-6 mission was lauded by Beijing after the craft landed at an impact crater on the moon known as the Apollo Basin.
The lunar lander of China's Chang'e-4 probe
Posted at 4:50 PM, Jun 01, 2024

The successful landing of China's Chang'e-6 probe on the far side of the moon was celebrated by officials in Beijing as the spacecraft collected surface and underground material, including rocks from the terrain.

China's official Xinhua News Agency said the lunar lander touched down on Sunday, Beijing time, marking the sixth mission in the country's Chang’e moon exploration program.

Chang'e-6 will be the second in the series to bring back moon samples to Earth after Chang’e 5 brought samples back from the near side of the moon in 2020.

The lander will use an arm to drill into the surface of the moon and it has the ability to gather up to 4.4 pounds of materials which it will send back to Earth in a capsule that has been orbiting the moon, Xinhua reported.

Some view the missions as part of a growing space rivalrybetween the U.S. and China, with other nations — including Japan and India — testing their capabilities with space missions of their own. The next nation to put a person on the moon would mark only the second after the United States to accomplish the feat.