China shares data and samples from the moon that received their Chang’e 5 probe based on international norms although “unfortunate” U.S. restrictions on cooperation could prevent access, said -head of his space agency.
The probe landed in the inner region of northern Mongolia in the early hours of Thursday, reclaiming the first lunar rocks and soils recovered by any country since the 1970s and making China is the third country ever to receive lunar samples.
The material collected at the Chang’e 5 mission, named after the Chinese mythical goddess of the Moon, will advance scientists’ understanding of the origin of the moon.
The mission also tested China’s ability to obtain samples from space, ahead of more complex missions in the solar system.
“In accordance with international cooperation norms and multilateral and bilateral cooperation agreements, we will issue rules on the management of lunar samples and data,” said Wu Yanhua, vice president of Space Administration. China National.
“We share with the relevant countries and overseas scientists, some of which may be given as national gifts according to international customs.”
When asked if China would share any samples with the United States, which restricts its NASA space agency from cooperating directly with China, Wu said the current U.S. restrictions were “inappropriate. lucky ”.
“The Chinese government is willing to share lunar samples with like-minded institutions and scientists from different countries,” Wu said.
“To be able to cooperate or not to rely on U.S. policy,” Wu said.
China was willing to cooperate with U.S. agencies and scientists on the basis of equal benefit and win-win cooperation, he said.
China did not disclose the number of samples it received back. The plan was to collect 2 kg (4.41 lb) of rocks and soil.
“We will announce this shortly,” Hu Hao, chief designer of the third phase of a lunar exploration program in China, told Reuters on the sidelines of the meeting.
“We haven’t taken them out (from the probe) yet.”
© Thomson Reuters 2020
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