Sunday, 07 March, 2021


China plans to launch four manned spacecraft in next two years

China lands its Moon rocks in Inner Mongolia Chinese capsule returns to Earth with 1st samples of moon rock in decades
Kristine Garrett | 18 December, 2020, 16:43

And it has not come empty-handed.

On behalf of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, the State Council and the Central Military Commission (CMC), Xi, also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee and chairman of the CMC, extended warm congratulations and honest greetings to all members who participated in the Chang'e-5 mission in a congratulatory message.

As with the 382 kg of lunar samples returned by United States astronauts from 1969 to 1972, they will be analyzed for age and composition and are expected to be shared with other countries. Its predecessor, Chang'e 4, became the first probe to land on the moon's little-explored far side and continues to send back data on conditions that could affect a future extended stay by humans on the moon.

Mission controllers applauding the success of the mission.

The material collected during the Chang'e-5 mission, named after the mythical Chinese goddess of the moon, will further scientists' understanding of the moon's origins.

Xu Hongliang, spokesman for the administration, said at a news briefing hosted by the State Council Information Office that it is the first time in 44 years that humanity has retrieved soil samples from the moon, so many space agencies around the world are paying close attention to the feat. The mission consisted of four individual unmanned spacecrafts - a landing module, an ascent module, an orbital module, and a reentry module.

When asked if China would share any samples with the United States, which limits its NASA space agency from directly cooperating with China, Wu said existing USA restrictions were "unfortunate".

The landing marks the end of a 23-day mission that saw the spacecraft land on the moon and collect samples before its ascension.

The China National Space Administration (CNSA) reports that on December 17 at around 2 am Beijing time, the module safely touched down in the Dorbod Banner region of Inner Mongolia, with the precious samples in tow.

China on the moon!

The rocks and other debris were obtained both by drilling into the moon's crust and scooping directly off the surface.

That site was chosen because it has a younger geological age than where samples collected by the US and the Soviet Union were taken more than 40 years ago. It is not yet clear how much lunar surface material Chang'e-5 was successful in collecting.

The latest breakthrough for China's increasingly ambitious space program that includes a robotic mission to Mars and plans for a permanent orbiting space station. "At first glance, I thought you were saying we have found animals on the moon", read one comment.

In January previous year, China made history when its lunar probe comprising Chang'e 4 moon lander and its rover Yutu 2 landed on the Von Karman Crater in the South Pole-Aitken Basin of the moon. While many conversations around China and the United States in space have focused on competitive, even military, aspects of a new "space race", some in the United States admit that space exploration could be one arena where both countries could cooperate, and perhaps even use it to mitigate other tensions in the relationship.

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