This is the most complicated space mission in the history of the Middle Kingdom and one of the most important for humanity. Later this year, samples of lunar rock will arrive on Earth. It will be the first such mission in the 21st century and the first in 44 years. The Chinese hope to learn more about our planet's natural satellite, which will be very important in future plans to explore this facility, build the first bases there and start the era of space mining.
Chang'e-5 probe landed yesterday on the lunar surface in the region of the Ocean of Storms, a huge lunar sea lying on the western edge of the Earth's side of the object. During the mission, the probe will collect 2 kilograms of rock, then take off from the surface and connect to the orbiter. After 10 days, they will set off on a journey towards our planet. The landing of the capsule with samples in the territory of the Middle Kingdom is to take place between 15 and 16 December this year.
The final stage of the orbiter's entry into the Earth's atmosphere will be quite an interesting event. Once the orbiter is 5,000 kilometers above the surface of our planet, the sample capsule detaches from it. Interestingly, it will not fall to the ground immediately. It will first travel at a sharp angle through part of the atmosphere to a height of 60 kilometers, and then rise to an altitude of 140 kilometers. Then it begins to descend along the parabola. In this way, scientists want to minimize overload and thermal stress on the capsule.
The most complicated Chinese mission began on November 23. The probe and orbiter with a total weight of 8 tons were launched into space from the Wenchang Space Launch Center on Hainan Island using the currently most powerful CZ-5 rocket in the country. Although Chinese missions may be impressive, they lag behind NASA by some 10 years in their endeavors. Americans and Europeans have already obtained samples from the asteroids and studied the comet.
It is likely that when the first Chinese astronauts land on the Moon, Americans will have their first landing on this object in the 21st century and their first landing on Mars. Experts believe that the Middle Kingdom will send a manned mission to the Silver Globe no sooner than at the end of the 1920s, because such undertakings will require a powerful rocket called CZ-9. ARTS WWW is currently working on it, but it will take many more years to complete.