The Chinese lander who landed on the moon months ago probably found minerals from the moon’s mantle. The Chang’e-4 vehicle landed on the dark side of the moon, in an impact crater, where research was subsequently done.
The Chinese researchers have done research for months, and have now put the first findings online, in the form of a scientific paper that has been accepted by the authoritative journal Nature. According to the Chinese, two minerals have been found that are probably part of the moon mantle; it is a certain form of orthopyroxene and olivine.
The Chang’e-4 lander arrived at the moon early this year and then landed in the Von Kármán crater, on the far side of the moon. It was the first time that a space agency managed to put a lander on the dark side of the moon; the side of the earth that is never seen. The crater is one of the largest impact sites of our solar system, and is therefore extremely suitable for research into the moon’s mantle.
China managed to analyze the materials by driving an autonomous robber with the Yutu-2, which also has a spectrometer on board for chemical analysis of found rock. Yutu-2 will continue to do research in the coming months, in order to find out more about the moon’s cloak and thereby gain more knowledge about the moon’s appearance. Most of the moon’s knowledge comes from surface rock collected by the American Apollo missions.