China readies for historic mission to moon

China made a historic start

China Plans to Launch Lunar Exploration Mission in Late November, Space Company Says

The mission will be launched by a Long March 5 heavy-lift carrier from the Wenchang launch site in the Hainan province.

The rocket was transported to a port in Wenchang by ships in late September and was then carried by special trucks to the launch center.

The 8.2-metric ton Chang'e 5 has four components-an orbiter, lander, ascender and a reentry module.

It took about two hours to vertically transport the large rocket to the launching area of the center Tuesday morning. If the mission is successful, it will be the first spacecraft to bring back materials from the Moon in some 40 years.

Mao Wanbiao, deputy director of the command centre of the launch site, said the Long March-5 rocket was at its final stage before blasting off. The mission calls for digging the moon lander part of Chang 5 about 7 feet below the surface and retrieving what it finds.

"This is now one of our country's most complicated and multifaceted space missions", CASC noted.

The latest and most remarkable, the ongoing Chang'e 4 mission, is the first endeavor by any nation to conduct surface observation of the far side of the moon, which never faces Earth, thereby accomplishing a goal sought by scientists for decades.

Considering these highly sophisticated operations, Chang'e 5 will be more hard and challenging than previous Chinese lunar expeditions, designers said.

Chang'e-5, one of China's most ever ambitious space missions, is expected to return to earth by mid-December. It will contribute to the scientific studies in fields such as the formation and evolution of the moon. In July, it successfully sent China's first Mars probe Tianwen-1 into the Earth-Mars transfer orbit.

The Chang'e lunar mission, named for the Chinese moon goddess, is among China's most ambitious as its space program continues to build steam since it first put a man in space in 2003, becoming only the third nation to do so after the U.S. and Russian Federation. The Long March-5, nicknamed "Fat 5" because of its bulky shape, failed on a previous launch attempt, but China's enormous pool of technical and engineering talent appears to have allowed it to overcome most obstacles.

Latest News