- November 24, 2020
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
Subject: Science and technology
Context: China is preparing to launch an unmanned spacecraft to bring back lunar rocks, the first attempt by any nation to retrieve samples from the moon in four decades.
- The Chang’e-5 probe, named after the mythical Chinese moon goddess, aims to shovel up lunar rocks and soil to help scientists learn about the moon’s origins, formation and volcanic activity on its surface.
- The mission is set to take off from the Wenchang Space Center on the southern island province of Hainan, according to the official Xinhua news agency.
- If successful, China will be the third country to have retrieved samples from the moon, following the U.S. and the Soviet Union in the 1960s and 1970s.
- The Chinese probe will collect 2 kg of surface material from a previously unexplored area known as Oceanus Procellarum or “Ocean of Storms” which consist of a vast lava plain, according to the science journal Nature.
- Beijing is pouring billions into its military-run space programme, with hopes of having a crewed space station by 2022 and of eventually sending humans to the moon.