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, Mars has an orbit and rover.
Shortly before the climbing vehicle was launched, the space administration described it as the first Chinese flag to stand freely on the moon. The agency released a picture – apparently taken from the lander – of the climbing vehicle firing as it carried its engines.
The spacecraft “unfurled a five-star red national flag and was made of cloth, marking the first place in the country’s space history.” State media reported.
Moon 5 The storm touched the sea 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 formation called the Mons rumbler, and may contain rocks billions of years younger than previously restored.
The Chinese National Space Administration said the climbing vehicle was launched from the moon just after 11pm on Thursday (1500 GMT) and merged with a vehicle returning to lunar orbit, then the models were transferred to a capsule. Moon rocks and debris were sealed in a special trash can 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 Song5in 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 lunar soils for ore levels and ore and water contents by radar penetrating below ground.
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.
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 a continuously increasingly complex robotic spacecraft to develop and test the impetus, 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. The first of two planned model return missions and to date China’s most ambitious moon mission.
Bill Harwood contributed to this report.