Chinese scientists working with the lunar probe Chang’e-5 published the results of the analysis and photographs of the first batch of samples extracted from the Moon.
The task of "Chang'e-5" was to obtain soil samples from the area near the Rumker Peak volcano on the visible side of the Moon and its subsequent delivery to Earth.
The mission started in November 2020, and in early December, two modules successfully landed on the moon.
Then, the container with soil was reloaded onto the orbital service module, and was delivered to Earth on December 16, 2020.
The team of scientists collected 1.73 kilograms of lunar soil both from the surface and a depth of up to a meter from the Moon.
The age of the regolith is 1.2 billion years, younger than the samples brought by the astronauts of the Apollo missions.
On April 13, 2021, the China National Space Administration announced that it had completed the study of the first batch of mined lunar soil samples and published the obtained data and images.
(Sample brought from the Moon / CNSA)
At the moment, information is available on 18 different samples, which contain grains of both micron and millimeter sizes, mined from the surface of the Moon.
The samples are particles of breccia, basalt, glass, and fine dust; they contain pyroxene, plagioclase, ilmenite, olivine, feldspar, and spinel.
The work of Chang'e-5 was not completed after the delivery of the lunar regolith to Earth, now the service module is orbiting around the first Lagrange point in the Sun - Earth system
The probe is waiting for new scientific tasks that may be associated with observations of the Sun or asteroids.
- Lunar Sample Database: https://moon.bao.ac.cn/moonSampleMode/index.html