A quiet seven days, due to it being the National Day golden week holiday in China. There were still major developments despite this.
Chang'e-5 samples aged at ~2 billion years, confirming youthful volcanism
- A paper published in the journal Science by a diverse international team puts the age of fragments of samples collected by Chang'e-5 at 1,963 million years (Paper: )
- This confirms that volcanism occurred later in the sampled area of the Moon’s Oceanus Procellarum than in other areas.
But the main hypothesis for the cause of this relatively youthful magmatism did not hold up.
- An expected high concentration of radioactive, heat-producing elements was not found within the analysed two fragments, meaning scientists have to revise models for the thermal evolution Moon.
- The results will also help constrain estimates for the ages of planetary surfaces across the solar system through crater counting.
Expect more science from Chang'e-5: The research comes from one of 31 approved applications from 13 institutions that sought for pieces from the first batch of released Chang’e 5 samples. A review session for a second round of applications was set for October 8.
- More: Sky & Telescope, Nature, The Conversation; original paper: Science)
Shenzhou-13: Six-month crewed mission ready for launch
A Long March 2F was rolled out to the pad at Jiuquan in the Gobi Desert early on October 7 in preparation for launching the Shenzhou-13 spacecraft to the orbiting Tianhe space station module. Neither the crew nor the timing of the mission have been officially announced, but it is expected to be backup crew for the recently completed Shenzhou-12 mission, Zhai Zhigang, Wang Yaping and Ye Guangfu. Views from rollout
(CMSA (Chinese)). More: