Lunar mission is latest milestone in China's space ambitions

24 Novembre, 2020, 15:32 | Auteur: Therese Cote

In addition to rocks, Chang'e-5 also hopes to collect dust and other materials that will help scientists learn more about the Moon's history. Chinese technicians were making final preparations Monday, Nov. 23, 2020, to launch a Long March-5 rocket carrying a mission to bring back material from the lunar surface in a potentially major advance for the country's space program.

The lander will dig for materials with its drill and robotic arm and transfer them to what's called an ascender, which will lift off from the moon and dock with the service capsule.

Mons Rümker is a volcanic formation and therefore "younger" than regions of the Moon observed in prior missions, meaning the Chang'e-5 landing site is "extremely wisely picked", University of Münster geologist Harald Hiesinger told Nature.

While China has sent prior missions to the moon - including Chang'e-4, which became the first craft to soft land on the dark side of the Moon in 2019 - returning the samples is more technically complicated than those and will require the CNSA to demonstrate they have mastered a number of engineering problems ranging from heat control to Lunar launching.

The China National Space Administration's mission to bring chunks of the Moon back to Earth for the first time in decades will kick off this week, with the Chang'e-5 spacecraft slated to launch on today from Wenchang Space Launch Centre on Hainan Island. It will then use a rocket to rejoin the re-entry module in orbit and hand off the samples, with the re-entry module to then carry them back to Earth. The new samples will be of great scientific value, Chinese experts said. All that's left is to show it can collect samples and take off again from the moon.

Speaking to astronauts aboard the Shenzhou 10 spacecraft by video link in 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping said, "the space dream is part of the dream to make China stronger".

"We will determine when to implement a manned lunar landing based on scientific needs and technical and economic conditions", he said. "I think future exploration activities on the moon are most likely to be carried out in a human-machine combination".

The aim of the programme is for China to acquire the basic technologies of unmanned lunar exploration with limited investment, Pei said. In July, it successfully sent China's first Mars probe Tianwen-1 into the Earth-Mars transfer orbit.

Biden Reportedly to Choose Janet Yellen as US Treasury Secretary
Biden had said that his pick to be Treasury secretary would attract broad support from different corners of the Democratic Party. Yellen is a graduate of Brown and Yale universities, Yellen was also the first woman to serve as Fed chair.

Oxford Covid Vax Shows Strong Immune Response In Older Adults
Participants aged over 55 years were also split into groups and either given a single dose of vaccine, or two doses 28 days apart. This includes 3.8 million doses of the Oxford vaccine in early 2021 and plans to make another 30 million doses in the country.

Burkina Faso's Kabore ahead in early presidential election results
The electoral commission has said that polling stations will remain shut across much of the north and east for fear of violence. Analysts expect a tight race that could go to a second round if no candidate wins more than 50 percent.

Chang'e 4 - which made the first soft landing on the moon's relatively unexplored far side nearly two years ago - is now collecting full measurements of radiation exposure from the lunar surface, information vital for any country that plans to send astronauts to the moon.

The Chang'e-5 mission is a big test of China's aerospace technology, and China is expected to pass it with flying colors.

The spacecraft is made up of an orbiter, a lander, an ascender and a returner, according to the China National Space Administration (CNSA).

China's space program has progressed cautiously, with relatively few setbacks in recent years. China's one-party authoritarian system also allows for "prolonged political will that is often hard in democracies", she said.

While the US has followed China's successes closely, it's unlikely to expand cooperation with China in space amid political suspicions, a sharpening military rivalry and accusations of Chinese theft of technology, experts say.

The latest Chang'e-5 probe is among a slew of ambitious targets set by Beijing, which include creating a super-powerful rocket capable of delivering payloads heavier than those NASA and private rocket firm SpaceX can handle, a lunar base, a permanently crewed space station, and a Mars rover.

The Indian Express is now on Telegram.

Conseillé:



Populaire

Mysterious 'extra-terrestrial' monolith found in middle of Utah desert
He recounted first seeing the monolith, noting that one of the biologists on-board was the one to spot it before everyone else. The Utah agency published photos and videos to its website , showing the team's investigation of the odd looking object.

Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello Share The Story Of How They Met
Camila added, "He was so super hyper-focused on what he was doing". "I never saw him that whole tour". "I thought he was cute. Camila recalled, "We did a whole Jingle Ball tour together". "And that's really when the f**king saga started".

Brexit: Outline of deal could be reached this week, Irish Taoiseach says
Another source, an European Union official, added: "The differences on the level playing field and fisheries remain major". Those discussions could bear fruit as early as next week, but the negotiations could still collapse. "Time is short.

Marseille signe un joli coup avec Griezmann (Officiel) — OM
S'il jouit déjà d'une certaine notoriété dans le football, l'Olympique de Marseille ne cesse de se diversifier. Un grand coup médiatique pour l'OM ainsi que la structure dont le pingouin est le logo.

Queensland to reopen border to all of NSW from December 1
Queensland will reopen its border with New South Wales on December 1, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced. Ms Palaszczuk said there would be an update on travellers from Victoria tomorrow.

Travel quarantine could be relaxed to 'five days' for Christmas
The "test and release" scheme requires travelers to book their test before they travel and must also complete a passenger locator form .

Pizza worker sorry over sparking South Australia Covid-19 lockdown
The pair returned from overseas on November 11 and have been quarantining in the Peppers Waymouth medi-hotel. There have been a total of 557 cases in South Australia since the start of the pandemic.

Frank Lampard rates Chelsea FC’s Premier League title chances
Paul Pogba didn't play with what United said was a minor injury following his time with the France team during the global break. United moves up to ninth and is seven points off Tottenham. "It was important to get the first win at home".

Covid-19-related deaths in NI rise for sixth week
Excess deaths are those above what would normally be expected at the time of year, averaged over five years. More than 70,000 deaths involving Covid-19 have now occurred in the United Kingdom , new figures show.

Darmanin a réclamé une enquête sur l'évacuation de migrants à Paris — France
Selon ses remontées, les violences que subissent les exilés les pousse déjà à quitter Paris pour rejoindre Calais. Depuis, beaucoup ont reculé vers la Seine-Saint-Denis.