In DepthPlanetary Science

China set to bring back rocks from the Moon

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Science  20 Nov 2020:
Vol. 370, Issue 6519, pp. 900
DOI: 10.1126/science.370.6519.900

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Summary

China will launch an ambitious Moon mission on 24 November that aims to retrieve lunar soil and rock for analysis in terrestrial laboratories. If the technically challenging mission is successful, these will be the first samples retrieved from the Moon since 1976 and only the 10th time material has ever been brought back. The information gleaned from such analyses goes far beyond what can be determined through remote or in situ observations. Accurate dating of the new samples will increase the accuracy of the crater-counting technique used to estimate the age of features on the Moon and other rocky planets. And the samples might also answer questions about the Moon's volcanic history and the evolution of its mantle.

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