Beijing, 24th November: China on Tuesday launched a historic mission to the moon to collect ‘first lunar samples’.
Baaghi TV: According to reports, China launched an ambitious mission to bring back rocks and debris from the moon’s surface for the first time in more than 40 years.
— Reuters (@Reuters) November 24, 2020
Chang’e 5, named for the Chinese moon goddess, is the country’s boldest lunar mission yet. If successful, it would be a major advance for China’s space program, and some experts say it could pave the way for bringing samples back from Mars or even a crewed lunar mission.
China’s Lunar Mission aims to learn about the Moon’s surface and its rocks so that scientists can learn about the Moon’s origin, its formation and the volcanic activity there.
Pei Zhaoyu, mission spokesperson and deputy director of the Chinese National Space Administration’s Lunar Exploration and Space Engineering Center told reporters at a Monday briefing, “Scientific needs and technical and economic conditions would determine whether China decides to send a crewed mission to the moon. I think future exploration activities on the moon are most likely to be carried out in a human-machine combination.”
According to reports from the Reuters news agency, upon entering the moon’s orbit, the spacecraft is intended to deploy a pair of vehicles to the lunar surface: a lander and an ascender. The landing is due to take place in about eight days, according to Pei.
The probe is due to be on the lunar surface for about two days, while the entire mission is scheduled to take around 23 days.
The plan is for the lander to drill into the lunar surface, with a robotic arm scooping out soil and rocks. This material would be transferred to the ascender vehicle, which is due to carry it from the surface and then dock with an orbiting module.
The samples then would be transferred to a return capsule for the return trip to Earth, with a landing in China’s Inner Mongolia region.
It should be noted that the United States and the Soviet Union have brought samples from the moon earlier in 1960 and 1970.
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