November 24 saw the launch of China’s ambitious moon mission to retrieve samples from the lunar surface and return them to Earth. This is the first attempt to bring lunar materials back since the 1970s.
The launch, from Hainan province, was at 4:30am. The Chang’e 5 vehicle was blasted into space aboard China’s reliable Long March 5 rocket. It is a 4-part system consisting of:
- Re-entry capsule
The mission will be fairly short with a total of 23 days turn around time, and a brief stay of just one lunar day (4 Earth days). Surface samples and drilled samples will be collected and returned to Earth. China plans to share the data and research with other nations around the world.
Greater cooperation among space faring nations will benefit all nations and advance the cause of science on Earth and enable even more ambitious exploration of space.
Photo: China National Space Administration CNSA