China returns samples from the moon's far side in historic 01st.

China has made spaceflight history yet again.

The nation's robotic Chang'e 6 mission returned material from the moon's mysterious far side to Earth on Tuesday (June 25) — something that had never been done before. 

The milestone moment occurred Tuesday at 2:07 a.m. EDT (0607 GMT; 2:07 p.m. Beijing time), when Chang'e 6's return capsule landed in China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

Chang'e 6 consists of four modules: a lunar lander, a return capsule, an orbiter and an ascender (a small rocket carried by the lander). 

This hardware launched on May 3 and arrived in lunar orbit five days later. On June 1, the lander touched down inside Apollo crater, which lies within the South Pole-Aitken (SPA) basin, a 1,600-mile-wide (2,500 kilometers) impact feature on the moon's far side.

The lander collected about 4.4 pounds (2 kilograms) of lunar material using a scoop and a drill. This precious cargo launched aboard the ascender on June 3 and met up with the mission's orbiter a few days later.

Source: www.space.com


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