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Secret Rover on Chinese Moon Mission? Unidentified Object Sparks Speculation

Daniel Kim Views  

Amid China’s recent launch of the lunar probe Chang’e-6, attention is focused on an unidentified payload seen in the released photos. Some speculate that this object could be a secret rover that has not been disclosed.

According to Live Science, a U.S. science-specialized media outlet, on the 7th (local time), the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST) announced on the 3rd that it had successfully launched a long-range autonomous rocket. The plan is to send a probe to the moon’s far side, collect samples, and bring them back to Earth for analysis.

However, what caught the industry’s attention was the undisclosed payload on Chang’e-6. The unidentified mini rover, fitted with four wheels, was not a payload from France, Sweden, Italy, or Pakistan, and it seemed ill-suited to assist the previous Chang’e-5 and carry out long-term missions, as China claimed.

Space reporter Andrew Jones posted a close-up photo of the area on his X (formerly Twitter) account, saying, “This appears to be a mini probe that was not previously disclosed.”

CAST has not explained this rover. However, the Shanghai Ceramic Research Institute under the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), which previously described the Chang’e-6 mission, mentioned that an infrared imaging spectrometer is installed in the small vehicle.

Experts speculate that this secret rover will be used to compare how various minerals and compounds absorb and emit infrared light, confirm the composition of lunar surface rocks and soil, and detect water. It also appears that a folding ladder will be used to lower the rover attached to the side of the lander onto the moon’s surface.

This is not the first time China has included an undisclosed secret payload in an official mission.

According to SpaceNews, in 2021, unidentified devices were seen in spacecraft selfies taken in deep space, each installed on the Zhurong rover and the orbiter that was part of China’s Mars probe, Tianwen-1.

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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