Mini-rover images Chang’e-6 lander/ascender.
Image credit: CNSA/CLEP

Early in the morning of June 2 (6:23 AM, Beijing Time), Chang’e-6 successfully landed on the southern mare plain of the Apollo basin interior, in the northeast interior of the far side South Pole-Aitken (SPA) Basin.

During the following two days, the lander undertook surface operations, including sampling (drilling and scooping), depositing and sealing the samples in the ascent vehicle, and scientific investigations using the experiment complement onboard the lander. 

Chang’e-6 lander/ascender image from the Moon’s far side.
Image credit: CNSA/CLEP

In the early morning of June 4 (7:38 AM, Beijing Time), the Chang’e 6 lunar ascent vehicle lifted off from the floor of the Apollo basin with the samples sealed in the ascent stage, beginning the complex journey back to Earth.

Image credit: CCTV/Inside Outer Space screengrab

Tomorrow (Beijing Time) as planned, the ascent craft will dock with the orbiter and transfer the samples to the orbiter, in preparation for the trans-Earth injection burn, and the journey home.

Information courtesy James Head, Brown University   

Go to these informative videos that detail what China’s Chang’e-6 mission has accomplished to date:



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