Why did they decide to smash the Chinese takeoff module on the moon?

(ORDO NEWS) — The Chinese National Space Administration decided to destroy the lunar module that had completed its work in an unusual way.

The takeoff module of the Chinese lunar mission “Chang’e-5” was smashed on the surface of the Moon on December 7. The collision occurred at a point of 0 degrees longitude and 30 degrees south latitude. The specified coordinates assume the fall of the module at a point between the ancient craters Regiomontan and Walther in the southern highland region.

The module was a key component of Chang’e-5’s challenging 23-day mission to collect lunar samples and deliver them to Earth. Its task was to deliver two kilograms of rock from the lunar surface to a circumlunar orbit, where on December 6, it docked with the mission service module. After overloading the regolith on board the service module, the take-off unit separated from it and went away.

Despite the fact that the take-off module had a supply of fuel, the mission specialists decided not to extend its operation period and on the evening of December 7 sent teams on board the module for controlled information from orbit. At 23:30 UTC, the module collided with the lunar surface.

The impact occurred in an unlit part of the moon. NASA’s lunar reconnaissance orbiter, which previously took pictures of the Chang’e-5 lander a few hours after landing, has not yet recorded the crash site.

According to the Chinese National Space Administration, the take-off module was destroyed so that it does not become space debris, littering near-earth space. Such debris could hinder future missions to explore the moon.

It is expected that on December 12, the service module will go to Earth and, being at a distance of about 5 thousand kilometers from the planet, will drop a capsule with soil, which will land on December 16 in one of the regions of Inner Mongolia.

Chang’e 5 is the fifth unmanned mission in the Chinese lunar program. Thanks to her, China became the third country in the world to extract a sample of lunar soil for subsequent delivery to Earth.

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