The sample container of lunar collectibles is shown being removed from the Chang’e-6 return capsule.
Image credit: Jin Liwang via SegerYU X posting.

China lunar scientists have begun their inspection of the country’s Chang’e-6 returner capsule and its cache of far side lunar samples.

Parachuting into the Siziwang Banner of north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region shortly after 2 p.m. local time on Tuesday, the capsule’s touchdown concluded a 53-day journey from Earth, to the Moon, and back to Earth.

Image credit: CNSA/CCTV/Inside Outer Space screengrab

Recovered by air and ground teams, the returner module was transported by road to Inner Mongolia’s Zhurihe Airport before it was airlifted to the Chinese capital Beijing.

Store and study

The returner was airlifted to Beijing for opening, and the lunar samples are being transferred to a team of scientists for subsequent storage, analysis and study, said the China National Space Agency (CNSA).

Technicians have taken out the samples and are slated to hand them over to what the CNSA tags as the “ground application system” led by a group of scientists who will store and study the samples.

Image credit: CNSA/CCTV/Inside Outer Space screengrab

The Chang’e-6 Moon mission was a multi-tasking enterprise, making use of an orbiter, a lander, an ascender and a returner that was launched on May 3.

Its lander-ascender combination touched down at the designated landing area in the South Pole-Aitken Basin on the Moon’s far side on June 2, and completed sampling in two days.

Go to this video spotlighting the returner capsule’s landing at:

Leave a Reply