China to Launch Grab-and-Go Mission to the Moon this Month
After an engine failure scuttled its launch in 2017, the moon-rock-grabbing mission is now set to launch this month
HAINAN ISLAND, CHINA — After an engine failure scuttled its scheduled launch in 2017, China's Chang'e 5 moon-rock-grabbing mission is now ready to blast off on November 24.
The unmanned mission package will be blasted into space by a Long March 5 rocket assembly, and the package itself will include four vehicles.
The orbiter vehicle will power the mission package into moon orbit, where the lander and its ascender vehicle will detach and head for the moon's surface.
Once on the moon's surface, the lander will have one lunar day, or 14 Earth days, to drill into the rock and place the rock sample in the ascender vehicle.
The ascender will then separate from the lander and blast off into space, where it will reunite with the orbiter vehicle, placing the 2 kilogram rock sample safely inside the re-entry capsule that's attached to the orbiter.
The orbiter will then power the capsule back to Earth, where the capsule will detach for re-entry.
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