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China’s Spacecraft Lands on the Moon Amid Growing Space Rivalry With the US

In the wake of a growing space rivalry between China and the US, a Chinese spacecraft landed on the far side of the moon, marking it the sixth mission in Chang’s moon exploration program. 

China’s spacecraft is expected to collect soil and rock samples that will paint a better picture between less explored regions and the better known side of the moon. 

Currently, the lander will use a mechanical arm and drill to collect up to two kilograms of surface and underground material in a span of two days. 

China is also racing to put a person on the moon before 2030, and if successful, the country will be the second nation after the United States’s landing in 1969.

The US is now planning to land astronauts on the moon again, despite NASA changing the target date back to 2026.

Notably, robots can collect samples as efficiently as humans, but the value of putting people on the moon is centralized to the national pride achieved in doing so.

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