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China willing to share new moon samples ... after laying down rules

Beijing: The first rocks brought back to Earth from the moon in decades will be shared with researchers in other countries, provided diplomats can abide by China’s rules for the process of lending and returning the samples, reported Xinhua on Monday. Diplomats from various countries were invited to listen as Beijing laid out rules that will detail how the rocks are to be treated, how scientific breakthroughs will be shared and how the rocks are to be handled. China’s Chang’e 5 lander picked up the rocks in December, the first time in decades an Earth force has brought back samples from the moon.
“We’re still in the pre-preparation phase with the moon samples,” said Pei Zhaoyu, vice director of China’s moon programme. The mission returned with 1,731 grams of moon material. The last such samples were brought to Earth in the 1970s. Only the United States and the Soviet Union - the predecessor to modern Russia - had managed the feat before last year. (dpa)
The latest samples are also of newer moon material than was collected in the older missions. Researchers hope the samples can reveal more about past volcanic activity on the moon as well as about its history.

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