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New leak detection system to better preserve Moon samples

Tuesday, Feb 16, 2016,16:19 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

Beijing | Chinese scientists have developed a system to measure the leak rate for a vacuum environment to figure out a better way to preserve samples from the Moon, increasing the accuracy of research.

The measurement system will be used in China’s third step Moon exploration programme, according to scientists at the Lanzhou Institute of Physics at Chinese Academy of Space Technology. The third step of the lunar exploration project involves taking samples from the surface of the Moon back to Earth, said Li Detian, chief scientist of the research team.

The samples will be packed in a vacuum environment. The accuracy of measuring the finest leak in a vacuum capsule will have direct impact on the research result of the samples, he said. The system, said Cheng Yongjun, another scientist of the team, will ensure a similar vacuum environment as found on the Moon for the samples, Xinhua news agency reported.

It will also make sure that the samples remain uncontaminated on their way back to Earth, preventing them from being affected by any kinds of environment changes including extremely high and low temperature. China has a three-step Moon exploration project; orbiting, landing and return. Chang’e-5 lunar probe is expected to be launched around 2017 to finish the last chapter of the project.

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