China makes Chang’e 5 moon landing, readies to dig in the lunar dirt


The Lengthy March rocket carrying Chang’e 5, ready for launch.


Chinese language media are reporting that the nation’s Chang’e 5 mission has touched down on the floor of the moon. Subsequent, the lander will drill to gather some volcanic moon rock samples and scoop up some lunar dust for return to Earth later this month.

China’s house company launched the Chang’e 5 mission atop of one among its Lengthy March 5 rockets on Nov. 23. The lunar -sample return marks the primary such mission by any nation in a long time.

The touchdown got here simply earlier than 7:15 a.m. PT on Tuesday. The gear is now anticipated to collect its samples and stow them in a small spacecraft atop the lander, which can then carry off in about 48 hours. After that, the ascent car will switch the samples to an orbiter now circling the moon that may transport them again to Earth.

According to, touchdown was anticipated to happen close to Mons Rumker, a area of the moon that has seen volcanic exercise extra not too long ago than different components of our pure satellite tv for pc. This might imply that the realm is dwelling to among the youngest moon rocks round, offering a brand new window into its geology.

The China National Space Administration says the Chang’e 5 lander will drill into the lunar floor “to gather underground rocks” and use a mechanical arm to scoop up samples of floor soil. The ascent probe will carry about 4.Four kilos (2 kilograms) of samples from the moon’s floor for transport again to Earth. The pattern is predicted to land on Dec. 15 in Internal Mongolia, the place it is going to be collected for examine.

The Soviets have been the final to deliver lunar dust again dwelling, with the Luna 24 mission in 1976.

Chang’e 5 will get its identify from the Chinese language moon goddess and follows the Chang’e 4 mission, which despatched a lander and rover to the far facet of the moon, the place they have been taking some attention-grabbing pictures for nearly two years now.

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Eric Mack