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Chinese mission returns to Earth with historic samples from moon’s far side

Chinese mission returns to Earth with historic samples from moon’s far side

China’s Chang’e-6 lunar module returned to Earth Tuesday, successfully completing its historic mission to collect the first ever samples from the far side of the moon.

The successful mission is a key milestone in China’s efforts to establish the country as a dominant space power.

In a congratulatory message, Chinese President Xi Jinping hailed the mission as “another landmark achievement in building a strong country in space, and science and technology.”

Beijing plans to send astronauts to the moon by 2030 and build a research base at the lunar south pole․

The Chang’e-6 probe is expected to have returned to Earth with up to two kilograms of moon dust and rocks from the lunar far side, which will be analyzed by researchers in China before being opened for access by international scientists.

Experts say results from the analysis of the samples could help scientists peer back into the evolution of the moon, the Earth and the solar system, while also aiding China’s aim to utilize resources on the moon to further its exploration there.