World's first achieved after samples return from mysterious far side of the Moon

For the first time, a space agency has successfully transported lunar samples acquired on the mysterious far side of the Moon back to Earth.

1 minute & 2 seconds read time

Spaceflight history has been made after samples from the dark side of the Moon landed back on Earth, marking a massive milestone for global space exploration.

Chang'e 6 lander

Chang'e 6 lander

The honors of the achievement have been earned by the China National Space Agency (CNSA) with its Chang'e mission, which returned the samples back to Earth's surface on Tuesday at 2:07 am EDT. The far side of the Moon samples touched down in China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and consists of approximately 4.4 pounds of lunar material that was acquired by the CNSA's Chang'e 6 lander located on the far side of the Moon.

The journey back to Earth began around June 21, and while space agencies in the past have returned lunar samples back to Earth, none have been from the far side of the Moon. Earth's closest neighbor is tidally locked to the planet, meaning only one side of the Moon is facing Earth, while the other is in perpetual darkness. With the darkness due to a lack of sunlight comes extremely cold temperatures and other challenges that make its exploration more difficult than the Earth-facing side.

Additionally, exploration on the dark side of the Moon means a satellite relay system needs to be in place, as communications can't pass directly through the surface of the Earth-facing side to the lander stationed on the far side. Due to these complications, the far side of the Moon has hardly been studied, which makes these now safely returned samples just that much more valuable to researchers.

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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science, space, and artificial intelligence news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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