Historical moment! Brought to Earth from the dark side of the Moon


Lerato Khumalo

China’s Chang’e 6 module successfully landed at a designated point in the Inner Mongolia region with samples collected from the side of the Moon that is not visible from Earth.

According to Reuters, Zhang Kejian, head of the China National Space Administration (CNSA), said, “The Chang’e-6 lunar exploration mission was a complete success.”


Since the rotation speed of the Moon around itself and around the Earth is equal, the same side of the Moon always faces the Earth. The far side of the Moon, invisible from Earth, is called the “dark side”.

The term “dark” does not refer to the absence of light, but rather to the fact that this region is less well known than the nearby side of the Moon.

The Soviet Union’s “Luna” satellite photographed the dark side of the Moon for the first time in 1959, and the Soviet Union Academy of Sciences published a detailed atlas describing the dark side of the Moon in 1960.

Astronauts who participated in the US manned lunar expedition “Apollo 8” in 1968 were the first people to see the dark side of the Moon in person.


Exploration missions, named after the Moon goddess “Çang’ı” in Chinese mythology, started with the “Çang’ı 1” and “Çang’ı 2” satellites sent to lunar orbit in 2007 and 2010. Exploration missions aimed at mapping the Moon were intended to prepare for a soft landing on the surface.

In the “Çang’ı 3” mission, the rover rover named “Yütu (Jade Rabbit)” was landed on the surface of the Moon in December 2023.

China broke new ground by landing its “Yütu-2” rover on the dark side of the Moon in January 2019 during its “Çang-ı 4” mission.

China sent its first rover to the Moon in the “Chang-i 5” mission, which aimed to collect rock and soil samples. The rover returned to Earth in December 2020 with 1.73 kilograms of rock and soil samples collected after launching in November 2020.

China plans to continue its exploration activities on the Moon with new missions in the coming years. In this context, after “Çang’i 6”, “Çang’ı 7” will be launched in 2026 to explore the south pole of the Moon, and “Çang’ı 7″ will be launched in 2027 to verify natural resource capacity and availability and to conduct tests for the construction of a space base on the Moon’s surface. 8” missions are planned.

The country aims to organize human expeditions to the Moon starting from 2030 and to lay the groundwork for further exploration activities by establishing an International Lunar Research Base.