The return module of the Chinese lunar exploration probe “Chang’e-5” with samples of lunar soil successfully returned to Earth. Thus, China became the third country in the world after the United States and the USSR, which managed to carry out this mission.
On the morning of November 24, China launched the Chang’e-5 return vehicle. On December 1, it landed in a given area on the visible side of the Moon. Over the next two days, with the help of a drilling device installed on the lander and a manipulator with a bucket, lunar soil was collected, which was placed in a special compartment of the module for takeoff. The entire mission took 23 days, the device delivered to Earth about two kilograms of regolith. This is the first spacecraft in 44 years to be sent for the moon’s soil.
According to the State Space Administration of the People’s Republic of China, December 17 at about 01: 00 Beijing time, the Beijing Space Flight Control Center from the ground station set high-precision navigation parameters after which the orbital and return module “Chang’e-5” separated from each other over the Atlantic Ocean at an altitude of about five thousand kilometers, the orbital module according to the plan completed the evasion maneuver.
At about 01: 33, the return module entered the planet’s atmosphere at an altitude of 120 kilometers from the Earth’s surface at the second cosmic speed and performed a primary aerodynamic speed reduction. Having descended to the set height, the device entered the Earth’s atmosphere. After that, he carried out a second aerodynamic speed reduction. Dropping to a height of ten kilometers to the surface of the Earth, the module opened the parachute, made a final reduction in speed, and made a smooth landing in a given area.
The technical staff responsible for searching for the device found the target promptly and began collecting it.
According to the plan, after completing the necessary groundwork on the returned module, it will be flown to Beijing, where a container with soil samples will be removed.
“”The State Space Administration of China will hold a reception ceremony and hand over soil samples to ground operating systems. After that, for the first time for China, work will begin on the analysis and study of soil samples from a foreign celestial body,” the ministry said in a statement.
According to experts of the country’s space administration, the current mission “Chang’e-5” turned out to be historic for China in many ways: china for the first time collected soil samples from the surface of the Moon, took off from the surface of the Moon, made a docking on the “Kondratyuk highway” and delivered soil samples to earth. The department called the mission the most difficult, and the technologies used — the most advanced.
The Chang’e-5 probe was originally scheduled to launch at the end of November 2017, but due to the Changzheng-5 launch vehicle accident in July 2017, the mission had to be postponed. The mission was scheduled for the end of 2019, but it was again postponed.