China’s Chang’e 6 lands on far side of moon amid space rivalry with U.S. | Space

An unmanned Chinese spacecraft touched down on the far side of the moon Sunday, China’s space agency said, marking its second mission to a lunar region that no other country has landed on amid a growing international rivalry over space exploration. If successful, it will be the first mission in history to retrieve samples from the far side of the moon.

The China National Space Administration sent the Chang’e 6 lunar probe to collect rock and other material near and around an impact crater called the Apollo basin, which is part of the larger South Pole-Aitken basin of the moon, according to the country’s official Xinhua News Agency.

The Chang’e 6 landed at 6:23 a.m. local time after it was launched into space on May 3 from the Wenchang Space Launch Center, located on the southern island of Hainan. In Chinese mythology, Chang’e is the goddess of the moon.

China, the United States, Japan, India and Russia have invested heavily in space exploration in recent years — crowding a field that has throughout history been touted as a symbol of national power and progress.

For China and the United States, in particular, a rivalry is escalating over scientific frontiers in space; both nations are gunning for the accolade of having sent humans to the moon for the second time in history, with the United States planning to do so as soon as 2026 and China planning the same by 2030….

Source www.washingtonpost.com

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