The spacecraft was launched into orbit around the Earth on November 23 by the Long March 5 rocket from the Chinese space center on the island of Hainan. After several expected corrections, it arrived in orbit around Chang 5 Moon on Saturday night after a 112-hour flight, the Chinese National Space Agency (CNSA) said.
The separation of the landing module from the probe has already taken place, now the motor reduction of its orbit is underway. The start of the controlled descent to the surface is to take place on Tuesday, December 1, at 15:58 CET, and to land on the Moon at 16:13 CET, cosmonautics popularizer and astronomer Michal Václavík from the Czech Space Agency, who also works at the Institute of Aircraft of Technology, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering CTU in Prague.
A special 3000N engine will play a critical role in braking before landing. In any case, a secure fit will not be easy.
NO COMMENT: The Chinese lunar spacecraft has completed its first orbital correction and continues on to the moon
Two probe modules land in the Oceanus Procellarum area on the far side of the Moon and two remain in orbit. Subsurface sampling should then take place with breaks from Tuesday yesterday to Wednesday at 20:35 CET.
The takeoff module should then take off from the Moon again on Thursday 16:10 CET and perform several operations in the following hours and days to connect to the so-called orbiter, a service module orbiting the moon. From this part of the probe, the material moves to the return module, which heads for Earth.
Back in mid-December?
According to Space.com, the journey back should take four and a half days. The sample capsules are expected to land with a parachute in China‘s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region between December 15 and 17.
(1/4) Probe activity plan #Change5 at the Moon:
* Landing Module Department Nov. 29, 9:40 PM CET
* Motorized reduction of the landing module orbit on November 30, 15:23 and 19:22 CET
* Commencement of motorized descent to the surface on December 1, 15:58 CET
* Settling on the surface of the Moon on December 1, 16:13 CET pic.twitter.com/dxZzevgyvP
– Michal Vaclavik (@Kosmo_Michal) November 30, 2020
The main goal of the project is to use a drilling rig and a robotic arm from a depth of up to two meters to get about two kilograms of rocks and other material and get them to our planet for closer examination.
If the project is successful, the lunar material will reach Earth for the first time in more than forty years. In the 1960s and 1970s, such missions were successfully carried out by the United States and the former Soviet Union.