China Launched Chang’e-5 Mission to Collect Moon Samples
China has launched a robotic spacecraft on November 23, 2020. The spacecraft will be used to collect and bring back the rocks samples from the moon. This launch by China becomes significance in the light that this is the first such attempt by any country since the 1970s.
- The Chang’e-5 spacecraft was launched from the Long March-5 carrier rocket.
- The Long March-5 is the largest carrier rocket of China.
- The spacecraft was launched from the Wenchang space launch centre on the Hainan Island.
The Chang’e-5 mission
This spacecraft has been named after the ancient Chinese goddess of the moon. The spacecraft seeks to collect lunar sample material. These sample material would help scientists to understand more about the origins and formation of moon. The mission will also test China’s ability to remotely acquire samples from space before it launched more complex missions.
If the Chang’e-5 spacecraft mission is successful, It would make China the third country to collect the lunar samples. The other two countries that have bring back the lunar samples include the United States and the Soviet Union.
How the spacecraft would work?
Once the spacecraft will enter the moon’s orbit, it will deploy a pair of vehicles to the lunar surface. The two vehicle include a lander and an ascender. The landing will take place in about eight days. The spacecraft would reach on the lunar surface for about two days. The entire mission is scheduled to be completed in 23 days.
Function of the Lander
The lander will drill into the lunar surface and then scoop out soil and rocks using a robotic arm. After that, material would be carried to the ascender vehicle. The ascender will carry it from the surface and then dock with an orbiting module. After that, samples would be transferred to the return capsule that will land in China’s Inner Mongolia region.
What are the challenges?
The biggest challenges include- sampling work on the lunar surface, takeoff from the lunar surface, docking in the lunar orbit and a high-speed re-entry to Earth.