China’s Chang’e Probe Explained

On Late Tuesday, China’s Chang’e-5 probe touched down on the surface of the moon, its aim being to drill and collect samples of lunar dirt and the famed moon rocks, a favorite in Government lists of diplomatic gifts. The venture has targeted Mons Rümker, a high volcanic complex in a nearside region known as Oceanus Procellarum, and is armed with a camera, drilling equipment, spectrometer, scoop, and a drill.

However exquisite their secondary purpose might be, moon rocks are primarily used for determining the origins of the moon and possibly, the Earth. They are also used for conducting constituent analysis as well as being standing evidence for the varied geography of the moon. They are mostly gray and include many basalts, and breccias (rocks made up of broken and reassembled pieces), and mafic plutonic rocks from the highlands.

Mineralogically, most Moon rocks are pretty simple. Common lunar minerals include silicates, made up of silicon and other elements like calcium, aluminum, oxygen, magnesium, and iron.

Launching the quest for Space Supremacy

This is the first mission since the Soviet Luna spacecraft to collect moon rock samples and is seen as another one of Beijing’s steps towards their goals of joining the “space club” nations of Russia and the United States. With Xi Jinping’s plans for a Chinese space station Tiangong later in 2022, this mission serves as making a mark in the space atlas of the skies to turn it a shade red.

The journey is expected to take 14 days, and the spacecraft will land somewhere in Inner Mongolia.

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