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Eldorado

China set to fetch some moon rocks

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Eldorado

Scientists estimate ages on the Moon and the rocky planets from the number of craters that pock their surfaces.

They have fixed dates from just nine places, all on the Moon: the six Apollo and three Soviet Luna sites from which samples were returned to laboratories on Earth.

China’s Chang’e-5 mission, set to launch on 24 November, aims to make it 10, by returning the first Moon rocks since the last Luna mission in 1976.

Full monty at Science Mag: Link

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Peter B

I see that it has launched.

I also see that the mission is using an Apollo-style process to run the mission: one spacecraft will stay in orbit around the Moon, while a second spacecraft will land on the Moon and scoop up a sample before blasting off back into orbit. The two spacecraft will dock, and some combination of the two will return to Earth to be retrieved.

The Soviet sample return missions back in the 1970s were single spacecraft - the samples were loaded into an ascent stage which blasted off from the Moon and travelled all the way back to the Earth.

Well, good luck to them.

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Eldorado

China's Chang'e 5 robotic lunar probe carried out a braking maneuver on Saturday evening and then successfully entered a lunar orbit, according to the China National Space Administration.

The administration said in a statement that a 3,000-newton-thrust engine on the spacecraft was activated at 8:58 pm and worked about 17 minutes when the probe reached a position about 400 kilometers above the moon.

chinadaily

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Eldorado

Eight days after launching from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site in southern China, the nation’s Chang’e 5 mission has landed at Mons Rümker on the Moon to collect approximately 2 kg of material for near-immediate return to Earth.

The Chang’e 5 lander began final descent at 09:58 EST (14:58 UTC) with an expected touchdown 15 minutes later at 10:13 EST (15:13 UTC).

Full report at NASA Spaceflight

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Eldorado

 

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Still Waters

Latest:

China's Chang'e-5 mission returns Moon samples

Quote

China's Chang'e-5 mission has returned to Earth with the cargo of rock and "soil" it picked up off the Moon.

A capsule carrying the materials landed in Inner Mongolia shortly after 01:30 local time on Thursday (17:30 GMT, Wednesday).

It's more than 40 years since the American Apollo and Soviet Luna missions brought their samples home.

The new specimens should provide fresh insight on the geology and early history of Earth's satellite.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-55323176

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Still Waters

Update:

Exotic mix in China's delivery of moon rocks

On 16 December 2020 the Chang'e-5 mission, China's first sample return mission to the Moon, successfully delivered to Earth nearly two kilograms of rocky fragments and dust from our celestial companion. Chang'e-5 landed on an area of the Moon not sampled by the NASA Apollo or the Soviet Luna missions nearly 50 years ago, and retrieved fragments of the youngest lunar rocks ever brought back for analysis in laboratories on Earth.

Early-stage findings, which use geological mapping to link 'exotic' fragments in the collected samples to features near the landing site, have been presented by Mr Yuqi Qian, a Ph.D. student at the China University of Geosciences, at the Europlanet Science Congress (EPSC) 2021 virtual meeting.

https://phys.org/news/2021-09-exotic-china-delivery-moon.html

https://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EPSC2021/EPSC2021-447.html

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