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Chang'e-6  Blog Image


China's space agency said that China landed an uncrewed spacecraft on the far side of the moon on 2nd of June.

About Chang'e-6:

  • The Chang'e-6 craft successfully landed in the South Pole-Aitken Basin on the back of the moon.
  • It is the first human sampling and return mission from the far side of the moon for the first time.
  • It was launched by a Chinese Long March-5 rocket from Wenchang Space Launch Center on the southern island of Hainan before 53 days.
  • Chang'e-6 consists of an orbiter, a returner, a lander and an ascender.
  • The lander was equipped with multiple sensors, including microwave, laser and optical imaging sensors which can measure distance and speed, and identify obstacles on the lunar surface.
  • The probe is scheduled to complete sampling within two days. It has adopted two methods of moon sampling, which include:
    • Using a drill to collect subsurface samples
    • Grabbing samples on the surface with a robotic arm.
  • It has achieved a breakthrough in the design and control technology of the lunar retrograde orbit and aims to realize key technologies of intelligent and rapid sampling.
  • It marks the second time a mission has successfully reached the far side of the moon. China first completed that historic feat in 2019 with its Chang’e-4 probe.

Q1: What is retrograde motion?

Retrograde motion, in astronomy, actual or apparent motion of a body in a direction opposite to that of the (direct) motions of most members of the solar system or of other astronomical systems with a preferred direction of motion. As viewed from a position in space north of the solar system (from some great distance above the Earth’s North Pole), all the major planets revolve counterclockwise around the Sun, and all but Venus and Uranus rotate counterclockwise on their own axes; these two, therefore, have retrograde rotation.

Source: China makes historic landing on far side of the moon