Chang’e-6 lands on far side of the moon to collect unique lunar samples – EVOL

HELSINKI — China’s Chang’e-6 mission lander made a successful soft landing on the far side of the moon late Saturday and will soon begin collecting unique lunar samples.

The Chang’e-6 lander made a soft landing at 6:23 p.m. Eastern June 1 (2223 UTC), the China National Space Administration (CNSA) announced shortly after the event. The lander targeted a southern portion of Apollo crater within the South Pole-Aitken (SPA) Basin on the lunar far side. 

The landing is a critical step towards bringing unique and scientifically invaluable lunar samples to Earth for analysis. U.S. decadal surveys have highlighted an SPA sample return as a highest priority science objective.

The Chang’e-6 lander used a variable 7,500-newton-thrust engine to slow its velocity in lunar orbit and begin its descent. The lander was scheduled to make rapid positional adjustments at an altitude of around 2.5 kilometers above the lunar surface before continuing its descent. The spacecraft entered a hovering phase for fine hazard avoidance at approximately 100 meters above the surface. It used light detection and ranging (LiDAR) and optical cameras to find a safe landing spot.

Chang’e-6 is China’s fourth successful lunar landing from four attempts, and the second on the far side



Subscribe to Our Free Newsletter