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Chang’e 5
2021-01-17 09:03  

President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory message on Thursday on the success of the Change 5 mission, Chinas most sophisticated and challenging space adventure, which has brought back the worlds first lunar samples in more than 40 years.

Xi said the Chang'e 5 mission, Chinas most complicated space project, has achieved the Chinese space industrys first extraterrestrial sampling and returning. It is the latest achievement by China's system, which is characterized by its ability to mobilize all available resources to overcome difficulties and achieve its goals, and also marks a major step forward in the countrys space industry, he said in the letter. The missions results will contribute to deepening mankinds understanding of the origin of the moon and the evolution of the solar system, he noted. Noting that there is no end for space exploration, the president expressed his hope that the missions workers carry forward the lunar exploration spirit in order to embark on interplanetary expeditions.

The successful landing marked the completion of the historic 23-day Change 5 expedition, the first in more than 40 years to bring lunar samples back to Earth, also marking China the third country to achieve this feat, after the United States and the former Soviet Union. A certain proportion of the samples will also be put on public display to enhance scientific awareness among the public, especially the younger generation, sources close to the mission said.

Change 5, Chinas largest and most advanced lunar probe, consisted of four main components — an orbiter, lander, ascender and reentry capsule. The probe was launched by a Long March 5 heavy-lift carrier rocket early on Nov 24 at the Wenchang Space Launch Center in southern Chinas Hainan province, setting out on Chinas most difficult space mission and the worlds first to retrieve lunar samples since 1976.

According to the space administration, the Change 5 mission was designated to fulfill several objectives. In terms of space engineering, it should demonstrate and verify technical plans and apparatus for autonomous lunar sampling and packing, moon-based launching as well as lunar orbital docking.

In the scientific context, it was tasked with investigating the landing sites geological and topographical features, and it enabled scientists to analyze lunar samples structure and physical traits so they can deepen their research into the moon's origins and evolution. The mission also aimed to help foster the countrys knowledge, technology and talent pool for future manned lunar missions and other deep-space expeditions.

 

                                             From China Daily  2020.12.18

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