(ORDO NEWS) — The sending of a new mission to the Moon marked an important milestone in the slow but sure ascent to the stars of the People’s Republic of China.
China became the third country that was able to deliver a person into orbit 17 years ago, and also the first country that was able to land a spacecraft on the far side of the Moon in 2019. China’s plans for the future include the creation of its own orbital station and a manned mission to the Moon, on which a man’s foot last set foot more than 50 years ago, during the American missions of the Apollo series.
Today, Tuesday November 24 local time, China launched an ambitious mission into space to deliver rock samples from the lunar surface. Four modules of the Chang’e-5 spacecraft launched at 4:30 am local time (20:30 Monday GMT) aboard the giant Long March 5Y rocket from the Wenchang launch site on the southern Chinese island of Hainan.
A few minutes after the launch, the capsule separated from the first and second stages of the rocket and entered the transfer orbit of the Earth-Moon system. About an hour later, Chang’e 5 deployed its own solar panels.
Typically, the travel time of a spacecraft to the Moon is three days.
The mission’s key task is to drill a hole on the lunar surface and extract about 2 kilograms of material from a depth of about 2 meters, with the subsequent return of the selected material to Earth. This will enable scientists on Earth to study new material from the lunar surface for the first time in about 40 years.
The descent vehicle will take samples using a drilling rig and a robotic arm, and then place them in the takeoff module. The take-off module will rise from the lunar surface and dock with a service capsule, which will deliver material to a return capsule that carries out direct delivery of samples to the Earth’s surface, NASA reports.
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