Sunday, June 16, 2024
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China launches lunar probe to explore ‘hidden side’ of Moon as space race with US heats up

Beijing: China has launched a lunar probe on Friday to collect samples from the far side of the Moon to provide better insights into geological and other differences between that region and the better-known near side, as Beijing’s space race with the United States heats up. The Chang’e-6 probe is China’s most complex robotic lunar mission to date and is a key milestone in Beijing’s push to become a dominant space power.

The 53-day mission is unprecedented and would be the latest advance in the increasingly sophisticated and ambitious space exploration programme by China, which already landed a rover on the Moon’s far side, becoming the first country to do so. The Moon’s mysterious far side is ideal for radio astronomy and other scientific work, but requires a relay satellite to maintain communications.

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