China launches Chang'e-5 Moon sample return mission

China launches Chang'e-5 Moon sample return mission

Chang'e 5 was originally meant to launch in 2017, but the failure of a second Long March 5 launch in July that year meant a delay of three years for the mission. "Based on the findings of the Apollo and Luna missions, we thought the Moon surface was dry".

The mission's key task is to drill 2 metres beneath the moon's surface and scoop up about 2 kilograms of rocks and other debris to be brought back to Earth, according to NASA. The only other two countries were the USA and Russian Federation. Just one lunar day, or around 14 Earth days, will remain, so it lacks radioisotope heating units to survive the freezing nights of the moon.

Professor Martin Sweeting, a fellow of the Royal Society of the United Kingdom and a distinguished professor of space engineering at the University of Surrey, said the global science community has been looking forward to the mission and the first collection of lunar samples since 1976.

- China successfully launched its Chang'e-5 lunar sample return mission last night on a Long March 5 rocket, Chinese television and worldwide media reported.

Chang'e 5 should take samples from the volcanic area of Mons Rümker (in the Oceanus Procellarum), considered by scientists to be a "young" part of the moon because it has more volcanic activity than other areas (1-2 billion years).

Only a year after a Chinese lunar rover's unprecedented landing on the far side of the moon, the country's National Space Administration launched the Chang'E 5 on a Long March 5 carrier rocket from the Wenchang Space Launch Center on the southern island province of Hainan.

The Chang'e-5 spacecraft includes four different modules that will work together to complete the mission. NASA's Apollo missions returned more than 800 pounds of lunar rock and soil for study on Earth between 1969 and 1972.

After the materials are collected by the lander, they will be placed in the spacecraft's ascender. The supplies would then be shifted to the return capsule to be shipped back to Earth.

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As we wait for updates from the lunar probe, let's check out what makes the Chang'e-5 mission special.

The Chang'E 5 mission has been anticipated for years. This is because it lacks heating equipment to operate for long periods in the moon's freezing environment. The China National Space Administration calls this one of the most "challenging endeavors China has ever embarked on".

"A change in USA policy regarding space cooperation is unlikely to get much government attention in the near future", Johnson-Freese said.

Oded Ben-Horin, an associate professor at the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences in Bergen, Norway, said besides scientific and technological achievements, Chang'e 5 will also act as an inspiration for creative education.

If China is successful in this mission, it will be one for the history books. Following those flights சாங்'இ 3 Lunar Lander in 2013 and Song 4 landing on the Moon in 2019.

It will also become a third country after the United States and the then Soviet Union to fulfill such a mission. Once it begins orbiting the Red Planet, an explorer will attempt to land on Mars to collect data on the planet's surface and search for signs of water.

Beijing has ambitions to potentially send a crewed spacecraft to Mars if Tianwen-1 is successful.

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