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Chang'e-6 highlights China's goal to build international collaboration
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Chang'e-6 highlights China's goal to build international collaboration
by Simon Mansfield
Sydney, Australia (SPX) Jun 09, 2024

China's Chang'e-6 probe, carrying expectations from scientists worldwide, is currently in orbit around the moon, awaiting the optimal moment for its return journey.

If successful, Chang'e-6 will enable China to retrieve the first-ever samples from the far side of the moon. China has pledged to make the samples available to international researchers, emphasizing its commitment through consistent actions and promises.

With the precious samples, Chang'e-6 will offer scientists a unique window into the moon's evolutionary history and potentially even the origins of our solar system.

China feels a strong obligation to share these samples, as reflected in the Chinese saying, "if we present roses to others' hands, the fragrance will also linger on ours."

Chang'e-6 demonstrates China's ongoing promotion of international cooperation in space exploration.

The spacecraft carried four international payloads. Foreign scientists invited to witness the launch and lunar landing of their instruments aboard Chang'e-6 expressed gratitude to China. Josef Aschbacher, Director General of the European Space Agency (ESA), tweeted his thanks, noting that the ESA is proud to participate in the mission.

China has been a steadfast supporter of space cooperation with Europe, encompassing projects from lunar missions to joint development of scientific satellites and astronaut training. However, European officials and scientists are increasingly concerned that geopolitical tensions may hinder such cooperation.

According to Karl Bergquist, administrator of European and external relations of ESA, the ESA faces growing restrictions in its space cooperation with China due to U.S. component usage and export bans.

Avoiding U.S. components entirely is impossible for European countries. Cooperation's essence lies in pooling wisdom from diverse countries to explore space jointly.

The United States, once in a fierce space race with the Soviet Union, still views outer space as a stage for asserting dominance, imposing restrictions on space cooperation with China and its allies.

In response, China has pursued a self-reliant and self-developed approach in its space endeavors, achieving significant progress. Even under tough challenges, China believes space exploration requires collective wisdom and efforts that transcend Earthly boundaries.

European scientists see China as a reliable partner in the Chang'e-6 mission. China will continue to build bridges for cooperation, enabling more nations to explore the moon and space.

China remains open to space cooperation with the United States. The question is whether U.S. authorities will heed calls from their scientists and the global community to stop hindering collective scientific advancement.

Neil Melville-Kenney, technical officer of the ESA instrument on Chang'e-6, stated, "space exploration encourages us to consider our planet as one and our people as one. The closer we work together, the greater things we can achieve."

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Lunar Samples Transferred for Return to Earth
Sydney, Australia (SPX) Jun 07, 2024
Lunar samples collected from the moon's far side by China's Chang'e 6 mission have been delivered to their final carrier for the return trip to Earth, according to the China National Space Administration. After orbiting the moon for about 56 hours, the sample-loaded ascender of the Chang'e 6 probe docked with the orbiter-reentry capsule combination at 2:48 pm on Thursday. It then transferred a sealed container holding the lunar samples to the reentry capsule, ... read more

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