Laboratory construction and curation scheme for returned samples of the chang’e-5 missionOPEN ACCESS 

Hongwei Yang, Ruihong Yang & Qian Wang

Geoscience Letters, Volume 9, Article number: 19 (2022)


“The analysis of samples returned from a planetary body is important to understand the origin, composition, evolution, and interactions with space or atmospheric weathering of the planet. In particular, pristine rocks, which are not affected by weathering, can be collected during sampling work. The analysis of samples will significantly promote the calibration, verification, and interpretation of remote sensing data and will improve the knowledge of interior materials using geophysical measurements. The Chang’e-5 lander, the first Chinese science project involving the return of lunar samples, launched on November 24, 2020 and drilled a core sample that is almost 1 m long, and acquired less than 2 kg during this mission. Because of the preciousness of the returned samples, the CLESEC (China Lunar Exploration and Space Engineering Center) is planning to construct at least two laboratories, determine regulations for preserving samples from the Moon and other planets in future missions and develop non-damaging and/or minimally damaging technologies to analyze the returned samples. The CLESEC also announced standardized technologies and documentary regulations for preservation, measurement, and sharing schemes with scientists around the world. Based on the Apollo experiences, we have established detailed requirements and standardized conditions for constructing laboratories and curation with the aid of advanced technologies. We also discuss six potential demands for future sampling missions. Finally, we developed high-level criteria for future returning sample missions and relative curations that are beneficial to Chang’e-5 research and as well as preparation for other extraterrestrial samples in the near future.”