Groundbreaking Discoveries Made on Studies of Lunar Samples Brought Back by Chang’e-5 Probe

Researchers studying the lunar samples retrieved by China’s Chang’e-5 mission have made significant progress, with over 70 scientific achievements published in major academic journals both domestically and internationally. The samples, which were the first ever obtained from a young lunar surface region of volcanic rocks, have provided valuable insights into lunar evolution.

After evaluating the samples, the China National Space Administration (CNSA) distributed 258 portions of lunar soil to 114 research teams from 40 institutions. Despite the limited amount of distributed samples, researchers have made groundbreaking discoveries in lunar formation, evolution, space weathering processes, and resource utilization.

One of the key findings from the studies is that the moon is “younger” than previously estimated, with the youngest basalt rock on the moon being 2 billion years old. This discovery has pushed back the end of lunar volcanic activity by about 800 million years. Additionally, researchers believe that the Chang’e-6 mission, which landed at the South Pole-Aitken Basin, may collect older lunar samples that could further enhance our understanding of lunar evolution.

China’s lunar exploration missions have adopted a collaborative approach, inviting international partners to participate in scientific research. This stands in contrast to the US’ lunar exploration plans, which focus on establishing a sustainable human presence on the moon and preparing for future space exploration missions.

The successful implementation of the Chang’e-5 and -6 missions demonstrates China’s technological advancements in space exploration and provides new opportunities for international cooperation. The Chang’e-6 mission, in particular, is set to become the first in human history to retrieve samples from the far side of the moon, enriching our understanding of the satellite’s origin and evolution.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning emphasized the historic significance of Chang’e-6’s smooth touchdown, stating that it marks a milestone in China’s outer space exploration and the peaceful use of outer space by humanity. China is committed to deepening international cooperation in aerospace exchange and sharing its achievements with countries around the world.