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Chang’e-5: China Successfully Launched its 1st spacecraft to Collect Samples from Moon; Also World’s 1st since 1976

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China-successfully-launches-Chang'e-5-its-first-spacecraft-to-moon-to-collect-samples,-return-to-earthOn November 24, 2020, China National Space Administration (CNSA) has successfully launched the 8.2 tonne lunar probe namely “Chang’e-5” through Long March-5, China’s largest carrier rocket. The launch took place from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site in the southern province of Hainan, China. Its task is to bring 2kgs of sample soil and rock of moon to earth in a mission of around 23 days.

  • Notably it is the world’s first moon-sample mission in 44 years i.e. since 1976. Only two other countries, the United States (US) and the former Soviet Union, have brought samples back from the moon.
  • The mission will promote China’s science and technology development and help in planning for China’s future manned lunar missions and deep space exploration. It will also help scientists to understand more about the moon’s origins and formation.

Objective:

The mission aims to promote China’s science and technology development and lay an important foundation for China’s future manned lunar landing and deep space exploration. The aim of the programme is for China to acquire the basic technologies of unmanned lunar exploration with limited investment.

Landing site:

The landing site of Chang’e-5 will be near Mons Rumker, a volcanic mound in the Oceanus Procellarum (Ocean of Storms) located in the northwest region of the moon. It is on the near side of the moon. While the orbiter-returner orbits about 200 km above the lunar surface.

  • This site is chosen because the region has a younger geological age than the sampling areas of the US’s Apollo Missions and the Luna Missions of Soviet Union.

Key Points:

–The mission is named,’Chang’e-5′ after the ancient Chinese goddess of the moon.

–The spacecraft “Chang’e-5” consists of four parts: an orbiter, a returner, an ascender and a lander. It’s the lander who will drill and scoop samples from the surface and store them in a protective capsule.

Chang’e-5 to realize 5 firsts in China’s history:

Through this mission the China will realize have the following firsts in its history:

  • 1st collection of samples from a celestial body
  • 1st time the probe takes off from the surface of celestial body
  • 1st Unmanned rendezvous and docking in lunar orbit
  • 1st return to earth with samples in escape velocity
  • 1st research and analysis of moon samples

Recent Related News:

i.On October 27, 2020, For the first time, National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) has confirmed water on the sunlit surface of the Moon. SOFIA has detected water molecules (H2O) in Clavius Crater, one of the largest craters visible from Earth, located in the Moon’s southern hemisphere.

ii.The NASA has chosen ‘India Sat’, an indigenous experimental satellite developed by 3 students from Tamil Nadu namely, M. Adnaan of Thanthonrimalai, M. Kesavan of Nagampalli and V. Arun of Thennilai for launch in suborbital space in June, next on NASA’s sounding rocket 7.

About China:
Capital– Beijing
Currency– Renminbi
President– Xi Jinping

About China National Space Administration (CNSA):
Administrator – Zhang Kejian
Headquarters: Beijing, China