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Chinese space craft lifts off to earth with sample from moon

8 December 2020 12:07 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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  • After the samples were collected and sealed, the ascender of Chang’e-5 took off from the lunar surface
  • An engine, after working for about six minutes, pushed the ascender to preset lunar orbit, said Xing Zhuoyi, a designer of the Chang’e-5 probe from the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST) under the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.   

 A Chinese spacecraft carrying the country’s first lunar samples blasted off from the moon at 11:10 p.m. (Beijing Time) on Thursday, the China National Space Administration (CNSA) announced as reported by Xinhua which is China’s official news agency last week. 
  
It represented the first-ever Chinese spacecraft to take off from an extraterrestrial body.   


 Xinhua reported China’s Chang’e-5 probe, comprising an orbiter, a lander, an ascender, and a returner, was launched on Nov. 24, and its lander-ascender combination touched down on the north of the Mons Rumker in Oceanus Procellarum, also known as the Ocean of Storms, on the near side of the moon on Dec. 1.   
After the samples were collected and sealed, the ascender of Chang’e-5 took off from the lunar surface. An engine, after working for about six minutes, pushed the ascender to preset lunar orbit, said Xing Zhuoyi, a designer of the Chang’e-5 probe from the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST) under the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.   


Different from the ground takeoff, the ascender could not rely on a launch tower system. The lander acted as a temporary “launching pad,” which had touched down on the lunar surface quite stably, Xing said.   
The lunar liftoff conquered many challenges, including limited diversion space for the engine plume and different environments between Earth and the moon, he said.   


Without any navigation constellation around the moon, the ascender used its own special sensors to conduct self-positioning and attitude determination after the takeoff, assisted by the ground monitoring and control system, Xing said. 

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