Beijing, Jan. 18, 2021 The first rocks brought back to earth from the moon in decades will be shared among researchers in other countries, an official said on Monday.
The official said that any country provided the samples must abide by China’s rules for the process of lending and returning the samples, the official added.
Diplomats from various countries were invited to listen as Beijing laid out rules that will detail how the rocks are to be treated, how scientific breakthroughs will be shared and how the rocks are to be handled.
China’s Chang’e 5 lander picked up the rocks in December, the first time in decades an earth force has brought back samples from the moon.
“We’re still in the pre-preparation phase with the moon samples,” said Pei Zhaoyu, Vice Director of China’s moon programme.
The mission returned with 1,731 grammes of moon material.
The last such samples were brought to earth was in the 1970s.
Only the U.S. and the Soviet Union – the predecessor to modern Russia – had managed the feat before last year.
The latest samples are also of newer moon material than was collected in the older missions.
Researchers hope the samples can reveal more about past volcanic activity on the moon as well as about its history.