China’s Chang’e-5 lunar mission
Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III – Space
- China’s Chang’e-5 lunar mission recently became the first probe in over four decades to attempt to bring back samples of lunar rock from unexplored portion of the Moon.
- The spacecraft is set to return to Earth around December 15, 2020.
- Chang’e-5 probe is the Chinese National Space Administration’s (CNSA) lunar sample return mission.
- Goal: To land in the Mons Rumker region of the moon, where it will operate for one lunar day, which is two weeks long and return a 2 kg sample of the lunar rock possibly by digging about 2 metres deep into the surface of the Moon.
- The mission comprises a lunar orbiter, a lander and an ascent probe that will lift the lunar samples back into orbit and return them back to Earth.
- The probe is named after the Chinese Moon goddess who is traditionally accompanied by a white or jade rabbit.
Do you know?
- Early in 2019, China’s Chang’e-4 probe successfully transmitted images from the far side of the Moon, also referred to as the dark side.
- This was the first probe to land in this portion of the Moon.