China Successfully Lands Spacecraft On Moon To Retrieve Lunar Rocks

01 Décembre, 2020, 18:51 | Auteur: Therese Cote
  • Space workers monitor the status of Chang'e 5 at a control center in Beijing on Tuesday

The lander-ascender combination of the spacecraft separated from its orbiter-returner combination at 4:40 a.m. Monday (Beijing Time), according to the China National Space Administration (CNSA). It has sent back footage of the moment it landed.

State broadcaster CCTV said it would start collecting samples on the lunar surface in the next two days.

China's Chang'e-5 probe decelerated and entered the lunar orbit on Saturday, completing a vital step on its way to collect and return moon samples, the China National Space Administration (CNSA) announced.

The lander will shovel some surface material and also drill a two-meter-deep hole and scoop up the soil from inside it, which will act like an archive of the moon, with the bottom recording information from a billion years ago and the top more closely reflecting the present day.

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The 8.2-metric ton Chang'e 5, China's largest and most sophisticated lunar probe, was launched by a Long March 5 heavy-lift carrier rocket early on Nov 24 at the Wenchang Space Launch Center in Hainan province, undertaking the world's first mission since 1976 to return lunar samples to Earth.

Chang'e-5, comprising an orbiter, a lander, an ascender, and a returner, has carried out two orbital corrections during the Earth-Moon transfer, achieving its expected goals.

China made its first lunar landing in 2013.

The entire mission, from the initial launch on November 24 until the return to Earth, is scheduled to take around 23 days.

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