Chang ‘5 Heading to the Beijing lab to open a capsule carrying lunar samples, a research team eagerly awaits their chance to begin studying fresh moon samples.
Seeing it Lunar Exploration Mission Success, China’s space officials say the next step is to collaborate with scientists from other countries to analyze moon samples.
China is set to establish a lunar sample-analysis solicitation, organizing a team of domestic and foreign scientists to consider samples requests.
China on the moon! History of Chinese lunar missions in pictures
Zhang Kejian, head of China’s National Space Administration (CNSA), declared Chang’i 5 successful. Chinese space officials said the mission revolved around China’s current three-phase lunar exploration program, which began in 2004.
“Now that Chang ‘5 investigator has returned with lunar soil samples, an important next step is that we will collaborate extensively with scientists from other countries to study lunar soil in depth.” Said in an interview with China Central Television (CCTV).
Chang’e 5 laid a foundation for China’s future crew lunar and deep space exploration efforts, which would include building a research base on the moon, if all went according to plan.
“We hope to build an international lunar scientific research station together with other countries, according to Pei Zhaoyu, deputy director of CNAR’s lunar exploration and space program center, CCTV,” of lunar scientific exploration and technical experiments Can provide a shared platform for .
Search and recovery team
On Wednesday (December 16), according to CNASA, the return capsules separated from the Chang 5 orbiter / returner craft while high above the Atlantic Ocean while under ground control. The capsule entered the Earth’s atmosphere and, after aerodynamic deceleration, left it again. The capsule then re-entered to perform a second aerodynamic deceleration.
The parachute of the capsule was opened about 6 miles (10 kilometers) from the ground, and the craft came down to a predetermined area in Inner Mongolia. Search and retrieval teams found it in short order.
An air team in helicopters spotted the capsule using infrared cameras, while a ground team reached the snow-covered landing site in the SUV. Ground teams laid siege to the area, confirmed the touchdown coordinates and established a communications station to connect with the Beijing Aerospace Flight Control Center.
“We only measured the size of the crater that landed on the returner, which is part of the scientific data collection. Then the returner will have it.” [put on a] ‘New hot coat’ to prevent the remaining propellant from entering during transport to Jhuri Airport, where the propellant will be expelled [the] Returner, “said Cao Ruikiang, a space product assurance assistant In a cctv interview.
Chang’e 5 capsules were loaded onto a truck and then transported to Beijing by helicopter and airplane.
related: We can be in the ‘golden age’ of sample-return space missions
The Chang’e 5 was designed to bring back 4.4 lbs. (2 kg) of lunar specimens. The mission consisted of four modules – an orbiter, a lander, an ascension and a returner.
Multi-stage mission Launched on 23 November. On 1 December, its Länder-Askender combination touched north of Mons Rumker in Oceanus Procellarum, also known as the Ocean of Storm, on the seashore.
In Beijing, CNSA will transfer lunar material at the Lunar Sample Laboratory to the National Astronomical Observatory (NAO) under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, a facility specifically designed for storage, processing, and analysis of samples.
“The biggest challenge in the atmosphere is the sample package, which is sealed in a vacuum environment [on the moon]”To address this, we have verified many times and designed a special process,” said Zhang Guangliang, chief designer of the ground application system of the third phase of the Chinese lunar exploration project in a CCTV interview. We will unpack the samples in a vacuum environment, and transfer them to a nitrogen atmosphere for storage and processing. ”
“The first thing we consider is to use as few damage-free analysis methods as possible, such as observation of optical characteristics under the microscope and spectral measurements in the laboratory,” said Zhou Qin. Ground Application System of Phase III of the Chinese Lunar Exploration Project in CCTV Interview.
“, Of course, these measurements will be conducted and analyzed under a particular environment such as with high-purity nitrogen, so as to minimize the impact of the Earth’s environment on lunar samples,” said Zhou. “In addition, we will also do some chemical composition analysis, which will cause damage. We will do a large-scale analysis, and try to get more useful information with the smallest sample amount.”
You can watch the newly released video centered on the Chang 5 Return Capsule here, here And here.
Leonard David is the author of the recent book “Moon Rush: The New Space Race” published by National Geographic in May 2019. A longtime author of Space.com, David has been reporting on the space industry for more than five decades. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and Facebook. This version of the story published on Space.com.