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Jun 25, 2024, 9:27am EDT
East Asia

Chinese space probe brings back first rock samples ever from far side of moon

Tingshu Wang/Reuters
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A Chinese space probe returned to Earth with the first-ever samples of rocks from the far side of the moon.

Chang’e 6 landed in the desert in Inner Mongolia on Tuesday after journeying to the lunar surface last month.

The moon rotates exactly once for each time it orbits the Earth, meaning it always shows the same side; the far side therefore has a different history and different materials to the near side, and many scientific questions remain unanswered about its precise nature.

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The samples are “of fundamental scientific importance,” a European Space Agency scientist told Reuters. And while Europe and China may be at loggerheads on various geopolitical issues, their scientists will work together closely on investigating the data Chang’e’s samples provide.

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