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HIT powers Chang'e 6 returns with moon samples

Updated : 2024-06-27

By ( e.my399.com )

At 14:07 on June 25, the Chang'e 6 return capsule safely landed in the designated area of Siziwang Banner, Inner Mongolia, carrying precious samples from the far side of the moon.
The success of the Chang'e 6 mission can be attributed to the robust support from the Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT) in Harbin, capital city of Northeast China's Heilongjiang province.
For example, the Chang'e 6 mission faced numerous challenges, including intermittent communication supported by the Queqiao-2 relay satellite, constrained sampling periods, and unknown geological and physical conditions on the lunar far side. These factors made the sampling process highly complex.
To tackle these challenges, HIT assembled a multidisciplinary team led by Academician Deng Zongquan from the School of Mechatronics Engineering.
This team collaborated closely with the China Academy of Space Technology, the primary contractor for the probe system. Together, they resolved several critical technical issues related to lunar surface sampling, including product development, ground testing, and in-orbit operations.
Moreover, in response to the new demands of the lunar far side sampling mission, the Aerospace Mechanisms and Control Research Center at HIT developed an intelligent support and inversion system for lunar surface sampling.
This system enabled real-time monitoring of the entire drilling and sampling process based on telemetry data and online identification of the physical state of the lunar soil profile, offering crucial assistance in the decision-making process for the Chang'e 6 drilling and sampling operations.
Elsewhere, the polymer chemistry team from HIT's School of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry successfully developed the core sample bag model.
To address the challenges of in-situ encapsulation and the shaping of stratified samples, they innovatively designed an integrated "rope-bag composite" structure using polymer fibers, overcoming key technical hurdles such as quantitative control of the core sample bag's shape and properties and stress equalization in the rope-bag transition section. This ensured the successful encapsulation of stratified lunar soil samples.
Additionally, the team from the School of Materials Science and Engineering developed high-modulus, high-strength, and high-stability aluminum matrix composites, as well as manufacturing technology for complex thin-walled large-size components. This provided necessary technical support for the development of structural components for the large lunar surface sampling robotic arm on Chang'e 6.

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