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Historical lunar sample return hailed as major breakthrough for global science community




Historical lunar sample return hailed as major breakthrough for global science community

2024-06-26 05:51 Last Updated At:17:37

International experts have hailed the historical significance of China's successful Chang'e-6 mission and say the samples obtained from the far side of the moon can be deemed as a major scientific breakthrough for all of mankind.

The Chang'e-6 mission concluded its 53-day journey on Tuesday, becoming the first spacecraft to successfully retrieve and return precious samples from the mysterious 'dark' side of the moon, paving the way for scientists to uncover secrets about our celestial neighbor.

The return capsule safely touched down at the designated landing site in the Siziwang Banner of north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region shortly after 14:00 local time on Tuesday afternoon, with the China National Space Administration (CNSA) declaring the mission a complete success, marking another remarkable achievement in China's space exploration endeavors.

Kirill Babaev, director of the Institute of China and Contemporary Asia of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said the probe's return is very good news for the entire international community, who will now be eager to study the samples in detail.

"It's the first time in the history of mankind that some kind of vehicle has landed on the other side of the moon and gets back [to Earth with samples]. It will bring us more material to study the moon. It's definitely a very good breakthrough for the Chinese [space] industry and for the world development of space studies. I'm very much interested in seeing what kind of product will be brought to the Earth from the moon," said Babaev.

The momentous Chang'e-6 mission was considered one of the most complex and challenging undertakings in China's space exploration efforts to date, as the country attempted to complete a feat never dared before.

After launching from the tropical southern island province of Hainan on May 3, the mission's pivotal stage came almost one month later when the probe's lander-ascent combination successfully touched down in the South Pole-Aitken Basin on June 2 to begin two-days of sampling work on the lunar surface. The rest of the mission went smoothly as the precious cargo was later transferred aboard the returner, which made it back safely on Tuesday.

Experts have hailed the historic nature of completing such an operation on the mysterious far side of the moon, with China being the only country to have previously made a soft landing there back in 2019 and now achieving the first ever sample collection.

"The most significant thing about this mission is the fact that it's the first time we are bringing back samples from the far side of the moon. Firstly, it is a very challenging part of the moon, to even land on in the first place, because the surface is not very friendly to land a probe there. It's the least explored side of the moon, so being able to know its composition could have a lot of significance," said Charles Mpho Takalana, head of secretariat of the African Astronomical Society.

"The landing of Chang'e-6 on the far side of the moon is of great significance. Obtaining materials from the far side of the moon will give us a broader perspective on the study of the origin of the moon, especially because the samples were collected by Chang'e-6 from the South Pole-Aitken Basin. China's space program is making great progress and achievements, and the success of Chang'e-6 is the best proof of this," said Jorge Soliz, a Bolivian aerospace expert.

Historical lunar sample return hailed as major breakthrough for global science community

Historical lunar sample return hailed as major breakthrough for global science community

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Premier Li urges high-quality development to further deepen reform comprehensively

2024-07-22 22:24 Last Updated At:22:57

Chinese Premier Li Qiang has called for efforts to push forward high-standard opening-up and actively explore and innovate to motivate more momentum and vitality, so as to advance high-quality development in further deepening reform comprehensively.

Li, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, made the remarks during a research trip to north China's Tianjin Municipality on Monday.

Li first visited the core area of the Tiankai Higher Education Innovation Park, where he learned about the park's construction and operation, and had talks with researchers and heads of sci-tech financial institutions as well as start-ups.

Saying that the key to fostering new growth drivers and developing new quality productivity lies in reform and innovation, Li underlined staying focused on integrated development of sci-tech innovation and industrial innovation, therefore building a more efficient and attractive sci-tech innovation platform.

He called for more support for small and medium-sized sci-tech firms and incentives for sci-tech personnel in terms of policies and funding, so as to promote the application of scientific and technological advances, and accelerate the development of new quality productivity.

The park, inaugurated in May, was established through the collaboration of Tianjin-based top-notched universities including Tianjin University and Nankai University.

Li then visited the branch of the world-leading elevator manufacturer Otis and CDHorizon, a world's top integrated equipment operation service provider, in the Binhai New Area.

Li urged efforts to make good use of policies for supporting the large renewal of equipment and to support enterprises in promoting the new application of artificial intelligence, so that more enterprises and products with core competitiveness can compete to emerge.

The premier also highlighted innovative use of financial leasing and other financial instruments, thus better serving the real economy.

Li called on the Binhai New Area to take the lead in better stimulating impetus and vitality in deepening reform, underlining the reform in institutions and mechanisms of the pilot free trade zone, financial innovation and development, and high-level opening up to the outside world.

Li also emphasized the need to accelerate the integrated development of ports, industries and cities by leveraging strengths and characteristics, in order to integrate resources and enhance their role in promoting the coordinated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region.

Fully acknowledging Tianjin's achievements in socio-economic development, Li expressed his hope that the municipality will forge ahead and constantly scale new heights in promoting high-quality development.

Premier Li urges high-quality development to further deepen reform comprehensively

Premier Li urges high-quality development to further deepen reform comprehensively

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