China in final preparations for latest lunar mission

China in final preparations for latest lunar mission

Wenchang, China (AP): Chinese technicians on Monday made final preparations for a mission to bring back objects from the lunar surface, which could be a major breakthrough for the country’s space program.

Chang‌ 5 is China’s largest lunar mission, the first time in four decades that any country has attempted to bring rocks and debris from the moon to Earth. It will help you to understand the moon, its age, resources and the solar system in general.

Four modules of the Chang 5 spacecraft are expected to be launched into space on Tuesday on a Long March-5 rocket from the Wenchang launch site off the southern island province of Hainan.

The secretive Chinese National Space Administration has announced a launch by the end of November.


NASA’s goal is to dig 2 meters (approximately 7 feet) below the lunar surface and return 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds) of rock and other debris to Earth. It will be the first opportunity for scientists to study newly discovered lunar objects since the American and Russian missions of the 1960s and 1970s.

The mission is “certainly challenging”, but China has already landed on the moon twice with the Chang‌ 3 and Chang‌ 4 missions, and the 2014 Chang‌ 5 test mission showed it could return to Earth, said Jonathan, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. McDowell said the samples were collected and left to fly back to the moon.

“I am optimistic that China will be able to withdraw this as a result,” he said.

McDowell said such experience is growing in value as more and more countries are conducting asteroid sample returns and considering sample returns from Mars.

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After a three-day journey from Earth, Chang 5 Lander’s time on the moon will be short and soft. It can only last one lunar day or 14 days, as it does not have radioisotope heating units and China’s current lunar rover, the Chang 4, is poised to withstand the lunar cold nights.

Launched as a single spacecraft, the Chang’5 actually includes a lander, ascent, service module, and return capsule.

The lander will drill its drill and robotic arm objects and transfer them to the ascent, which will dock with the service capsule ascending from the moon. Materials for the trip to Earth will be transferred to the return capsule.

Joan Johnson-Freeze, an astronaut at the U.S. Naval War College, described the four-component Chang‌ 5’s technical complexity as “remarkable in many ways.”

If successful, it could be a blueprint of a Mars sample return or a crude lunar mission, Johnson-Fries said.

She said China is capable of developing and successfully implementing sustainable high-tech programs that are important for regional influence and global participation.

Named after the Chinese moon goddess Chang ‘, the mission was one of China’s most daring since launching a man into space for the first time in 2003, making it the third nation after the US and Russia.

China’s many space travel achievements, including the construction of an experimental space station and spacewalk, have been rebuilt by other countries over the years, and CNSA is now moving to new territory.

Chang’e 4 – The moon’s first soft landing at a relatively unexplored distance – provides full measurements of radiation exposure from the lunar surface, providing vital information for any country intending to send astronauts to the moon.

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By July, China had become one of three countries to launch a mission to Mars, and in the case of China an orbit and rover looking for signs of water on the red planet. CNSA says Tianwen 1 spacecraft will arrive on Mars in February

China interacts more with foreign countries on missions, and the European Space Agency will provide important ground station information for Chang 5.

U.S. law still restricts most cooperation with NASA, excluding China from partnering with the International Space Station. The constant competition between Japan and India among Asian countries seeking new achievements in space has prompted China to launch its own space station and launch its own programs.

China’s space program has progressed cautiously, with relatively few setbacks in recent years. The Long March-5 rocket, nicknamed the “Fat 5” due to its large shape, failed in its previous launch attempt, but since then has performed without a hitch, including the launch of the Chang’e 4.

“China is growing exponentially and developing building blocks for long-term use for a variety of missions,” Fries-Johnson said. China’s one-party dictatorship “allows long-term political will, which is often difficult in democracies,” she said.

Experts say it is unlikely that the United States will launch China into space amid political skepticism, sharp military animosity and accusations that it has stolen Chinese technology.

“The change in U.S. policy on space cooperation is unlikely to receive much government attention in the near future,” Johnson-Freeze said.

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