Chinese spacecraft orbited the moon on Monday in preparation for the return of lunar surface samples to Earth for the first time in nearly 45 years. Of the ascending moduleOn Sunday the robot replaced the container with the 4.4-pound specimens after it was docked with the spacecraft, which then cut it free. This achievement made China the first country to operate a robotic docking in lunar orbit.
The orbit and reusable vehicle will wait for the moon for a short time window a week, returning about 238,000 miles to Earth in about three days. Before the reconnaissance vehicle splits and floats on parachutes, it will first “bounce” the Earth’s atmosphere, landing on the wide steps of inner Mongolia, where China’s Shenzhou crew spacecraft have also made their landings.
If this mission succeeds, it will make China the third country to bring lunar rocks to Earth after the United States and the former Soviet Union. They were the first new models of the lunar surface obtained by scientists after the 1976 Luna 24 study of the Soviet Union.
The Song 5 climbing level erupted from the surface of the moon on Friday, just behind the lander block, According to the National Space Agency of China. The agency also released a photo taken by Airbnb, showing its approach to its junction with the climb, which can be seen in the background of the earth.
This is the first time China has succeeded in lifting a spacecraft from a celestial body, while no other country has achieved the tricky feat of operating a robot docking in lunar orbit. The controllers on the ground had to deal with distance and time lag, while maneuvering a clutch accurately without error.
The 23-day mission has been the front page news in the state media for several days, linked to reports that China has officially lifted all of its citizens out of abject poverty. Along with the propaganda plot for the ruling Communist Party, the twin stories illustrate the vast economic and technological advances that China has made since a person became the third country in aviation history in 2003.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Zuning praised the “courage to explore, to overcome difficulties and to work hard.”
“The entire Chinese people are proud of the efforts and ingenuity of Chinese lunar exploration researchers,” Hua told reporters daily at a press conference on Monday.
With cautiously increasing measures, China is now in the midst of a series of ambitious missions involving the study of its orbit to Mars and the development of a reusable spacecraft, in which little information has been provided.
Future plans are for American astronauts to return a man to the moon five decades later, with a permanent moon base, with no chronology provided. By 2022, China will begin building a permanent space station.
The U.S. has opposed China’s covert, military support program to participate in the International Space Station, although CNSA is expanding its ties with other programs, including the European Space Agency, which helped guide Song5 on its mission.
Last week, NASA Science Director Thomas Surbuchen made a tweet Congratulations to China After the spacecraft landed on the moon.
Song 5 hit the ocean near the moon on December 1, near a formation called Mons rumbler, which is believed to be the site of an ancient volcanic activity.
Rocks and other debris were obtained by drilling into the lunar crust and scooping directly from the surface. They are thought to be billions of years younger than they were before, and may provide insights into the history of the Moon and other bodies in our solar system.
The Lunar Research Project has set up specialized laboratories to analyze samples for age and composition. China is also expected to share some of the hundreds of pounds of rock, sand, dust and other samples received by the United States and the former Soviet Union with other countries.
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.
The Chang 1 and 2 missions reached lunar orbit in 2007 and 2010, respectively, followed by the Chang 3 lunar lander in 2013 and the Chang 4 lunar landing in 2019. Song 5 is the first of two planned return missions and is China’s most ambitious moon mission to date.
Bill Harwood contributed to this report.