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Chang’e-5 probe

  • Vaid's ICS, Lucknow
  • 28, Sep 2021
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Why in news?

Early-stage findings of Chang’e-5 probe, which use geological mapping to link ‘exotic’ fragments in the collected samples to features near the landing site, were recently presented by China.


Chinese spacecraft carrying rocks and soil from the moon had begun its journey back to Earth in December 2020, putting China on course to become the first country to successfully retrieve lunar samples since the 1970s.

Where was it landed?

  • The Chang’e-5 landing site is located on the western edge of the nearside of the Moon in the Northern Oceanus Procellarum.
  • This is one of the youngest geological areas of the Moon with an age of roughly two billion years.
  • The materials scraped from the surface comprise a loose soil that results from the fragmentation and powdering of lunar rocks over billions of years due to impacts of various sizes.

Latest findings:

  1. Ninety percent of the materials collected by Chang’e-5 likely derive from the landing site and its immediate surroundings, which are of a type termed ‘mare basalts’.
  2. These volcanic rocks are visible to us as the darker gray areas that spilled over much of the nearside of the Moon as ancient eruptions of lava.
  3. Yet ten percent of the fragments have distinctly different, ‘exotic’ chemical compositions, and may preserve records of other parts of the lunar surface as well as hints of the types of space rocks that have impacted the Moon’s surface.
  4. Potential sources of beads of rapidly cooled glassy material:Researchers have traced these glassy droplets to now extinct volcanic vents known as ‘Rima Mairan’ and ‘Rima Sharp’ located roughly 230 and 160 kilometers southeast and northeast of the Chang’e-5 landing site.

These fragments could give insights into past episodes of energetic, fountain-like volcanic activity on the Moon.

What Next?

A successful landing in Inner Mongolia made China only the third country to have retrieved lunar samples after the United States and the Soviet Union.

  • The plan was to collect 2 kg (4.4 lbs) of samples, although it has not been disclosed how much was actually gathered.

When was it launched?

  • The Chang’e-5 was launched on Nov. 24 and a lander vehicle touched down on the moon on Dec. 1. The mission was expected to take around 23 days in total.
  • The objective of the missionwas to bring back lunar rocks, the first attempt by any nation to retrieve samples from the moon in four decades.

Facts for Prelims:

Campaign launched for social accountability law:

A State-wide campaign has been launched in Rajasthan for demanding passage of the social accountability law in the next Assembly session.

  • “Social accountability” refers to actions initiated by citizen groups to hold public officials, politicians, and service providers to account for their conduct and performance in terms of delivering services, improving people’s welfare and protecting people’s rights.

Taiwan strait

The Taiwan Strait is a 110-mile-wide channel that separates mainland China from the island of Taiwan.

  1. It is also known as Formosa Strait or (Tai Sea).
  2. The Taiwan Strait is part of the South China Sea, and its northern part is connected to the East China Sea.
  3. The strait borders the southeast part of China.