BEIJING (CNSA PR) — At 1:59 on December 17, Beijing time, the lunar exploration project Chang’e-5 returner successfully landed in the planned area of Siziwang Banner, Inner Mongolia, marking the successful completion of our country’s first extraterrestrial celestial body sampling and return mission.
After landing on the moon’s Ocean of Storms on Tuesday, China’s Chang’e-5 lander got right to work collecting soil samples that will be returned to Earth.
The China National Space Administration (CNSA) reports that lander drilled into the lunar surface, extracted a sample, and sealed it up in a container. Chinese media report the hole was 2 meters (6.5 ft) deep.
Chang’e-5 will also collect samples using a robotic arm and scoop. The lander is expected to collect 2 kg (4.4 lb) of soil.
Once sample collection is completed, an ascender will lift off from the moon for a rendezvous and docking with the Chang’e-5 spacecraft in lunar orbit. Launch from the lunar surface could come on Thursday.
The soil samples will be transferred to a sample return vehicle which will travel back to Earth for a parachute landing in China some time in mid-December.
If successful, China will become only the third nation after the United States and the Soviet Union to return samples from the lunar surface.
BEIJING (CNSA PR) — At 23:11 on December 1, the Chang’e-5 probe successfully landed on the pre-selected landing area on the nearside of the moon at 51.8 degrees west longitude and 43.1 degrees north latitude, and returned the landing image.
At 22:57 on December 1, the combination of Chang’e-5 lander and ascender began to perform a power drop from about 15 kilometers away from the moon surface. The 7,500 N variable thrust engine was turned on, and the relative speed of the probe relative to the moon was gradually increased from about 1.7 km/sec.
During this period, the probe made rapid attitude adjustments and gradually approached the moon surface. After that, automatic obstacle detection was carried out. After the landing site was selected, the obstacle avoidance and slow vertical descent began, and the land steadily landed in the area north of the Rumker Mountain in the Ocean of Storms. During the landing, the landing camera equipped with the lander took an image of the landing area.
After the successful landing, the lander under ground control has carried out inspection and setup work, such as the deployment of the solar wing and the directional antenna, and will officially start the lunar surface work lasting about 2 days to collect lunar samples.
BEIJING (CNSA PR) — On November 30, the flight control team of the Chang’e-5 mission of the lunar exploration project implemented the separation of the lander and ascender assembly of the Chang’e-5 probe from the orbiter and returner assembly as planned. At 4:40 in the morning, under the precise control of scientific and technical personnel, the Chang’e-5 detector assembly separated smoothly.
Up to now, the detector systems are in good condition, and the ground measurement and control communication is normal. The orbiter and returner assembly will continue to fly on the lunar orbit with an average altitude of about 200 kilometers and wait for the ascender to rendezvous and dock, and the lander and ascender assembly.
The opportunity will be chosen to implement a soft landing on the lunar surface, and follow-up work such as automatic sampling.
BEIJING (CNSA PR) — At 20:58 on November 28, Beijing time, the Chang’e-5 probe flew to the moon for about 112 hours and successfully ignited a 3000 N engine at a distance of about 400 kilometers from the lunar surface. About 17 minutes later, the engine shut down normally. According to real-time telemetry data monitoring and judgment, the Chang’e-5 probe braked normally in the recent month and entered the orbit around the moon smoothly.
Near-moon braking is one of the key orbital controls during the flight of the lunar probe. When the high-speed probe approaches the moon, it will apply “brake” braking, in order to make its relative speed lower than the moon’s escape speed, and thus be captured by the moon’s gravity.
The Chang’e-5 probe underwent two orbit corrections during the Earth-Moon transfer process and achieved the expected goal. In the future, the Chang’e-5 probe will adjust the height and inclination of the orbit around the moon, the lander and ascender assembly will be separated from the orbiter and returner assembly, implement the lunar frontal soft landing, and carry out the lunar surface automatic sampling as planned. .
BEIJING (CNSA PR) — At 4:30 on November 24th, China used the Long March 5 carrier rocket to successfully launch the lunar exploration project Chang’e-5 probe at the Wenchang Space Launch Site in China.
After the rocket flew for about 2,200 seconds, the probe was successfully sent into the scheduled trajectory, starting China’s first return journey from sampling of extraterrestrial objects.
MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — Dmitry Rogozin, General Director of the State Corporation Roscosmos, took part in the 71st International Astronautical Congress, which takes place from 12 to 14 October 2020. Due to the epidemiological situation, the congress is being held online for the first time in 70 years of its existence. In his opening remarks, Dmitry Rogozin emphasized the importance of international cooperation in space.
“With regard to the International Space Station, we are negotiating with partners in the program to extend the life of the station until 2028 or 2030. There are various scenarios and options for the further development of the ISS. For our part, we are ready to consider any option offered by our partners and make a joint agreed decision, “the head of Roscosmos said, stressing that the State Corporation is firmly committed to guaranteeing the preservation of Russia’s place in low Earth orbit, regardless of the decisions made regarding service life of the ISS.
PARIS (CNES PR) — Monday, September 28, 2020, Jean-Yves Le Gall, President of CNES, met with Zhang Kejian, Administrator of the CNSA (China National Space Administration).
Their last meeting took place in Beijing on November 5, 2019 on the occasion of the official visit of the President of the Republic to China and the signing of the Joint Declaration on Cooperation Relating to the Chang’e 6 Mission and a Mission satellite for monitoring the water cycle.
BEIJING (CNSA PR) — On the far side of the moon, with a new round of dawn, the Chang’e 4 lander and the Yutu 2 lunar rover ended their moon night dormancy at 14:54 on August 13 and 20:34 on August 12, respectively.
Wake up spontaneously by light and enter the 21st day working period. The working conditions of the two instruments are normal, the energy is balanced, and the exploration journey on the back of the moon continues.
According to the panoramic camera stitched image, DOM image and other data, the Yutu-2 lunar rover will drive to the basalt or high-reflectivity impact crater area northwest of the current detection point during the daytime work period of this month.
At that time, the panoramic camera, infrared imaging spectrometer, and central atom detector will be turned on for detection, and the moon-measuring radar will carry out simultaneous detection during driving.
In addition, the Yutu-2 lunar rover plans to choose an opportunity to carry out panoramic ring shooting in the higher terrain at the junction of the two impact craters (the edge of the degraded impact crater).
BEIJING (China National Space Administration PR) — Since landing on the back of the moon, the Chang’e 4 lander and the Yutu-2 lunar rover have been operating successfully for more than 500 days, and have achieved many results in the scientific fields such as the material composition and underground structure of the landing zone.
BEIING (China National Space Administration PR) — On the far side of the distant moon, after 14 days of moonlight, the sun shone again on the Chang’e 4 lander and the Yutu 2 lunar rover, and the Chang’e 4 lander and the Yutu 2 lunar rover returned to work.
Awakened independently on March 18, and entered the 16th day work period. The ground was confirmed to be in good condition and the working conditions were normal, and a new round of scientific detection was carried out as planned. “Yutu No. 2” lunar rover traveled to the new target point and started exploring again on the back of the moon.
Completing our look at the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission’s 2019 Report to Congress, we examine how China is using its space program to achieve the nation’s geopolitical and economic goals. [Full Report]
by Douglas Messier Managing Editor
China is using its growing space program to achieve a range of geopolitical and economic goals, including attracting partners for its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), improving economic and political ties with other countries, and deepening others’ reliance on its space systems and data services.
“Beijing views its space program as key to elevating its leadership profile in international space cooperation, including through BRI, and establishing a dominant position in the commercial space industry,” according to the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission’s 2019 Report to Congress.
Continuing our look at the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission’s 2019 Report to Congress, we present the following excerpt concerning senior Chinese government officials with aerospace and technical backgrounds. [Full Report]
Confused by the acronyms in the table below? Parabolic Arc has added descriptions of the listed ministries and companies.
Many officials with backgrounds in the state defense complex have moved to senior government positions. While not all of these officials have backgrounds in space specifically, the result of these moves has been that senior Chinese political leaders often have a stronger technical understanding of the space sector than their foreign counterparts (see Addendum I listing key Chinese officials with aerospace sector backgrounds).
Continuing our look at the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission’s 2019 Report to Congress, we examine how China is seeking to shape the governance of space activities. [Full Report]
by Douglas Messier Managing Editor
China’s actions in asserting sovereignty over the disputed South China Sea could serve as a model by which that nation would claim extraterrestrial resources and consolidate its control over key space assets, a new report to the U.S. Congress warned.
“Contrary to international norms governing the exploration and commercial exploitation of space, statements from senior Chinese officials signal Beijing’s belief in its right to claim use of space-based resources in the absence of a clear legal framework specifically regulating mining in space,” according to the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission’s 2019 report.