On December 17, all major news agencies and mass media reported that the Chinese unmanned spacecraft Chang’e 5 successfully completed its mission and returned to Earth with a valuable cargo of lunar soil. Chang’e 5 (named after the Chinese goddess of the Moon) – the first spacecraft in 44 years, sent for the soil of the Moon. China became the third country to carry out such a mission. Before that, such operations were performed in the 60s and 70s of the last century by the United States and the Soviet Union. The last mission, which was called Luna-24, was carried out by the USSR and completed in 1976.
Mass media reports that a Chinese rover has delivered to Earth about two kilograms of lunar material from a region called the Ocean of Storms. It is a previously unexplored lava plain. And this is a great success of the People’s Republic of China, which space program began in 1970 modestly, with the launch of a simple satellite.
Today, half a century later, China has become the third power with manned space technology capable of carrying out the most complex scientific missions. Representatives of the scientific community note this event as extremely important, because for the first time in recent decades, it was possible to fulfill such a complex mission efficiently and effectively. Scientists are confident that the samples obtained will help them better learn about the origin of the satellite and by means of the new data form the process of volcanic activity on its surface.
Head of Research at the Chinese academy of Space Technology, consultant to the chief designer and manager of Chang’e projects, Ye Peijian, answers the question about the purpose of studying the moon, “Was the Moon part of Earth? Or did it appear simultaneously with the Earth? Prompts for answering this question have not yet been found. Exploring the Moon can improve our understanding of the universe formation. The Moon is also rich in resources. For example, regolith deposits of helium-3 on the Moon can be used to generate energy. According to calculations, the supply of helium-3 on the Moon can be enough for humanity for 10,000 years. The difficulty is how to use its reserves on the Moon or transport it to Earth. It might seem technically challenging at the moment, but what about a century or two? It’s not available now, but it won’t necessarily be available in the future.”
According to China Daily, on Thursday, President Xi Jinping, on behalf of the country’s leadership, congratulated all those who took part in the preparation and implementation of the Chang’e 5 flight on the complete success of the lunar mission, which delivered the first samples of soil, collected on the Moon, to the country. On the website of the publication, you can visually get acquainted with all the stages of the Chang’e 5 space odyssey, starting from the moment of takeoff and until the return of the capsule with a valuable cargo to Earth.
On the photo panorama, it is possible to see that the flight of the device from the Earth to the Moon lasted about 112 hours, that braking maneuvers were carried out during one day, and the landing was made during 15 minutes. Work on the surface of the Moon lasted two days and before leaving it, the red flag of the People’s Republic of China was planted.