China's unmanned lunar exploration vessel 'Chang'e 5' successfully launched, aiming to bring back 'moon rock'
After 4:30 am local time on November 24, 2020, China succeeded in launching the unmanned lunar explorer ' Chang'e No. 5 '. Chang'e 5 aims for a sample return of collecting the lunar soil and bringing it back to Earth, and if successful, it will be the first sample return in 44 years since the former Soviet Union's ' Luna 24 ' launched in 1976.
China launches Chang'e-5 to collect moon samples --CGTN
China launches mission to bring back material from moon
China Launches Moon Mission to Bring Back Lunar Rocks --The New York Times
China launches ambitious mission to bring back samples from the Moon --The Verge
China officially launched the lunar exploration plan ' Chang'e Plan ' in 2003. Chang'e 1 in 2007 and Chang'e 2 in 2010 succeeded in exploration from the lunar orbit, and Chang'e 3 in 2013 succeeded in exploration of the moon by landing ship, and Chang'e 4 from the earth. He achieved the feat of making the world's first successful landing on the 'backside of the moon,' which cannot be communicated directly.
China's unmanned spacecraft 'Chang'e 4' lands on the back of the moon for the first time in the world --GIGAZINE
Chang'e 5, which was successfully launched on November 24, 2020, is the first unmanned exploration vessel to be responsible for the 'third stage' of the Chang'e plan, and its mission is to return a sample of the moon. The actual launch reported by China Central Television is as follows, and the National Space Administration, which has jurisdiction over China's space development, has announced that it has confirmed that Chang'e 5 has entered the planned orbit about 36 minutes after the launch. I will.
China launches Chang'e-5 to collect, return moon samples --YouTube
After landing on the moon, Chang'e 5 plans to collect a surface soil sample with a robot arm and a deep soil sample with a drill. After collection, the sample is transferred to the small rocket above the spacecraft, and the small rocket is separated from the spacecraft and taken off from the lunar surface. The small rocket docks with the service module waiting in orbit around the moon and transfers the sample to the Earth return capsule inside the service module. This Earth Return Capsule is expected to eventually land in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.
Chang'e 5 omits a radioisotope heating unit that can withstand the temperature above the moon, which reaches below freezing at night, so it stays on the moon only during the 'daytime of the moon,' which is equivalent to 14 days on Earth. We are planning to return to Earth around the middle of the month.
If Chang'e 5 succeeds in sample return, China will become the third successful sample return country in history, following the United States, which succeeded in bringing back moon rocks on Apollo 11 , and the Soviet Union, which succeeded in Luna 16. I will.