ChatGPT The Chinese lunar module carrying samples from the far side of the moon is already on its way back to Earth

Today at 02:38 Moscow time, the Chinese automatic interplanetary station “Chang’e-6” successfully launched from the Moon into a selenocentric orbit. On board the probe are rare samples of lunar soil collected from the far side of the satellite. If the remaining stages of the space expedition proceed as smoothly, the valuable cargo will arrive on Earth by June 25.

The soil was collected using a drilling method, utilizing a robotic manipulator. The main part of the operation was conducted automatically, without human intervention. Commands from Earth were transmitted to the probe via the relay satellite “Queqiao-2.”

“Chang’e-6” gathered 2 kg of soil and rocks, which were placed in a special sealed container. It then transferred the cargo to the ascent module, which reached lunar orbit just 6 minutes after the engine started. It is now awaiting docking with the service module, after which “Chang’e-6” will head towards Earth.

According to the China National Space Administration’s estimates, the spacecraft’s journey to our planet will take about 3 weeks. It is expected that around June 25, before entering Earth’s atmosphere, the return module of “Chang’e-6” will detach, which will deliver the capsule with valuable samples to scientists. It will drop the cargo in northern China.

“Chang’e-6” spent only 2 days on the Earth’s satellite: the spacecraft landed on June 2 in the South Pole-Aitken Basin crater. This is China’s sixth expedition as part of the lunar exploration program. The previous flight to collect samples from the visible side of the Moon took place in 2020. The Chinese are studying the satellite’s surface to soon send their first crew there. They plan to land on the Moon by the end of this decade.

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