China's Chang'e-5 lands on moon to retrieve samples

China's Chang'e-5 spacecraft successfully landed on the near side of the moon late Tuesday and sent back images, China's Chang'e-5 probe has collected moon samples, the China National Space Administration (CNSA) announced.

Image credit: CNSA

At 11:11 p.m., the spacecraft landed at the preselected landing area near 51.8 degrees west longitude and 43.1 degrees north latitude, said the CNSA.

On Nov. 24, China launched the Chang'e-5 spacecraft, comprising an orbiter, a lander, an ascender and a returner.

At 10:57 p.m. Tuesday, the lander-ascender combination of Chang'e-5, from about 15 km above the lunar surface, started a powered descent with a variable thrust engine ignited. Its relative vertical velocity to the moon was lowered from 1.7 km per second to zero.

The probe was adjusted and approached the lunar surface during the descent.

Image credit: CNSA


After automatically detecting and identifying obstacles, the probe selected the site and touched down on the north of the Mons Rumker in Oceanus Procellarum, also known as the Ocean of Storms, on the near side of the moon.

During the landing process, the cameras aboard the lander took images of the landing area, said the CNSA.

Under ground-control, the lander carried out a series of status checks and settings, preparing for around 48 hours of work on the surface of the moon.

About 2 kg of samples is expected to be collected and sealed in a container. Then the ascender will take off and dock with the orbiter-returner combination in orbit. After the samples are transferred to the returner, the ascender will separate from the orbiter-returner.

The orbiter is expected to carry the returner back to Earth. The returner is scheduled to reenter the atmosphere and land at Siziwang Banner in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

China's Chang'e-5 probe has collected moon samples, the China National Space Administration (CNSA) announced Wednesday. The lander-ascender combination of Chang'e-5 has finished the tasks of moon sample drilling and packaging at 4:53 a.m. Wednesday.

It is gathering samples from the surface as planned.

After successfully landing on the near side of the moon late Tuesday, the Chang'e-5 probe carried out preparation work including unfolding solar wings. The probe adopts two methods of moon sampling, including using drills to collect samples and gathering samples from the surface with a mechanical arm.

Source: Xinhua