A Chinese spacecraft was launched from the moon on Thursday night with a large number of lunar rocks, the first stage of its return to Earth, the state space agency said. Song 5, TheThe departure from it is the primary, the continuously increasingly recent For Beijing’s space program, there is an orbit and a rover heading to Mars.
Shortly before taking off, Lander revealed that the space administration had called for the moon ‘s first independent Chinese flag. The agency released a picture – apparently taken from the lander – of the climbing vehicle firing as it carried its engines.
The spacecraft “spreads a five-star red national flag and is made of cloth, marking the first place in the country’s space history.” State media reported.
Moon 5 touched the sea in a storm near the moon on Tuesday. Its purpose: to collect about 4 pounds of lunar rocks and bring them back to Earth, the first models of the Soviet spacecraft to do so in the 1970s. Earlier, American Apollo astronauts brought hundreds of pounds of moon rocks.
The landing site is close to a form called the Mons rumbler and may contain rocks billions of years younger than previously restored.
The Chinese National Aeronautics and Space Administration said the climbing vehicle was launched from the moon just after 11pm on Thursday (1500 GMT) and then merged with a vehicle returning to lunar orbit, then the models were transferred to a capsule. Moon rocks and debris were sealed inside a special bottle to avoid contamination.
It is not clear when the merger will occur. After the transfer, the ascending block is expelled and the capsule remains in lunar orbit for about a week, waiting for the optimal time to travel back to Earth.
Chinese officials say the capsule with the samples will land on Earth in the middle of the month. Touchdown is planned for the grasslands of inner Mongolia, where Chinese astronauts have returned in the Shenzhou spacecraft.
The Song 5’s lander on the moon is capable of scooping specimens from the surface and drilling 2 meters (about 6 feet).
Although its main task was to retrieve the samples, the lander was equipped to take detailed photographs of the landscape and to analyze ground conditions by radar penetrating below the surface and lunar soil analysis for minerals and water contents below the surface.
Although no deadline has been proposed for such projects, Song 5 has updated China’s talk of sending astronauts to the moon one day and building a scientific base there.
China launched its first temporary orbital laboratory in 2011 and its second in 2016. Plans call for a permanent space station after 2022, which could be serviced by a reusable spacecraft.
While China is enhancing cooperation with the European Space Agency and others, its contacts with NASA have been severely limited by US concerns about the secrecy and close military ties of the Chinese program. On Tuesday, NASA Science Director Thomas Surbuchen tweeted a congratulatory message to China after the spacecraft landed on the moon.
China is implementing an increasing approach to its lunar program, introducing increasingly complex robotic spacecraft to develop and test the propulsion, guidance, navigation and landing methods needed for long-term exploration.
Chang 1 and 2 missions successfully reached lunar orbit in 2007 and 2010, respectively, followed by Chang 3 Lunar Lander and Chang 4 in 2013. Landed in the distance of the moon In 2019. Foremost among the two planned return trips planned and to date is China’s most ambitious lunar mission.
Bill Harwood contributed to this report.