China successfully lands spacecraft on moon | UPSC CURRENT AFFAIRS

China successfully lands spacecraft on moon


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Why in News?

  • China successfully landed a spacecraft on the moon’s surface on 01st December 2020 in a historic mission to retrieve lunar surface samples, Chinese state media reported.
  • Chang’e-5 Probe
  • It will collect 2 kg of surface material from a previously unexplored area known as Oceanus Procellarum — or “Ocean of Storms” — which consist of vast lava plain.
  • The original mission, planned for 2017, was delayed due to an engine failure in China’s Long March 5 launch rocket.

 

Significance of the mission

  • As per the Lunar and Planetary Institute, rocks found on the Moon are older than any that have been found on Earth and therefore they are valuable in providing information about the Earth and the Moon’s shared history.
  • Lunar samples can help to unravel some important questions in lunar science and astronomy, including the Moon’s age, its formation, the similarities and differences between the Earth and the Moon’s geologic features.
  • For instance, the shape, size, arrangement and composition of individual grains and crystals in a rock can tell scientists about its history, while the radioactive clock can tell them the rock’s age.
  • Further, tiny cracks in rocks can tell them about the radiation history of the Sun in the last 100,000 years.

 


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