Tags: chinese | spacecraft | orbits | moon

Chinese Spacecraft Orbits Moon to Prep for 2017 Lunar Mission

Image: Chinese Spacecraft Orbits Moon to Prep for 2017 Lunar Mission
(cnsa.gov.cn)

By    |   Wednesday, 14 Jan 2015 08:56 AM

A Chinese spacecraft has entered orbit around the moon, putting the communist nation one step closer to landing an unmanned mission there.

According to Space.com, Chinese state media reports emerged Sunday explaining that the service module will collect data and identify landing spots for the Chang'e 5 mission in 2017. 

Chang'e 5 is tasked with collecting samples of moon rock and returning them to Earth for further examination. It is expected to gather at least four pounds of soil and stone.

The Chinese spacecraft originally launched Oct. 24, and put out a test capsule that returned to Earth via parachute on Nov. 1. Following that, it moved to the Earth-Moon Lagrangian (L2) position, then just this week made its way into lunar orbit.

"It was the first time for a Chinese spacecraft to reach the L2 point, and the service module completed three circles around the point, expanding probe missions," said Zhao Wenbo, vice director of China’s State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense.

In 2013, China landed a craft on the moon with a rover on board, The Associated Press reported.

Before that, it became the only country after the U.S. and Russia to achieve manned space travel independently when it sent its first astronaut into space in 2003.

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A Chinese spacecraft has entered orbit around the moon, putting the communist nation one step closer to landing an unmanned mission there.
chinese, spacecraft, orbits, moon
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2015-56-14
Wednesday, 14 Jan 2015 08:56 AM
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