China on Wednesday released video footage showing the arrival of its Chang’-5 robotic spacecraft to the lunar surface. The camera pauses momentarily before a breathtaking fall begins, racing in a landscape sprinkled with craters on Tuesday. Soon after, a splash of moon dust and the shadow of the lander indicated that the probe’s touch was successful.
Brown University Head Professor of Geological Sciences James W. Dr. Head collaborated with Chinese scientists, where the mission must go to collect rocks and soil to bring it back to Earth.
The lander set up on Tuesday, as planned, at 10:11 am Eastern Time on Tuesday, in an area of the Moon, as planned. The spacecraft is in the middle of a basalt lava field that is nearly two billion years younger than parts of the Moon discovered more than four decades ago by NASA’s Apollo astronauts and the Soviet Union’s robot Luna Landers.
Within hours of arriving at the moon, Chang’-5 set about drilling and scooping his lunar specimens.
The images of Chang’e-5 show a desolate landscape with gentle rolling hills. The lack of nearby craters indicates the region’s youth.
Scientists are curious how the region remained molten for longer than the rest of the moon. Examining these rocks in laboratories on Earth will also reveal their exact age, and will describe a method that planet scientists use to determine the ages of the planets, moons, and other bodies of surfaces in the solar system.
The lander has already completed its drilling and collected the sample. It keeps some soil scattered around the spacecraft. Once this is completed, the top part of the lander will return to space as soon as Thursday. This would be the beginning of a complex sequence to return the rocks to Earth.
After lunar orbiting the weekend, Chang’-5 split into two. While the lander moves towards the surface, the other half remains in orbit.