|Chinese researchers examine the scorched Chang’e 5-T1 return capsule after it landed successfully in Inner Mongolia having travelled around the moon and back. Photograph: Xinhua|
China plans to land on the moon by 2017
|Launch of the Chang'E-5-T1 mission on top a CZ-3C rocket from Xichang base in China on 24 October.|
The next exploration mission planned in the programme is Chang'E-4 which must also complete an automatic landing, expected in 2015. Despite its name, ChangíE-5-T1 is still part of the chronology of the Chinese programme, this flight is in fact a partial technological test for the Chang'E-5 mission (without the T1) which in 2017 should take samples from the Moon's surface and bring them back to Earth. Chang'E-5-T1 aims to test the capsule that will bring the samples back to our planet. A CZ-3C rocket sent the spacecraft to the Moon, taking-off from the Xichang Space Centre in the early hours of 24 October (local time).
Chang'E-5-T1 consists of a carrier spacecraft fitted with solar panels and derived from the DFH-3 platform shared by several Chinese satellites and which was also used for the Chang’E-1 and 2 missions. However, this time, there was also a return capsule. Chang’E-5-T1 will not land on the Moon or collect any samples. The spacecraft will go around our natural satellite by 27/28 October then, when it is close to Earth, it will release the capsule so that it re-enters our atmosphere and lands underneath parachutes on the ground. This landing should take place on 31 October or 1 November.
|The return capsule that will be tested during the
Chang'E-5-T1 mission. It is similar to the Shenzhou manned, three-seater
spacecraft, but smaller.|
Credit : CAST
The third stage of the rocket which launched Chang'E-5-T1 is carrying a small European experiment called 4M. Developed by the company Lux Space, this is a radio transmitter which will emit a signal for radio amateurs. Given that the third stage is also heading to the Moon, this is an opportunity for the radio amateur community to follow a signal intended for them as the transmitter travels to our natural satellite. The name 4M stands for Manfred Memorial Moon Mission in honour of Manfred Fuchs, founder of the OHB company (satellite manufacturer) who died early this year.
The 4M website: http://moon.luxspace.lu
|Mission control based in Beijing during the launch of Chang'E-5-T1.|
& Earlier Via
- China sent a mission to the moon from the southwestern Xichang satellite launch centre this morning The spacecraft will fly around the moon on an eight-day mission It is intended to be a precursor to a mission to the lunar surface in 2017 This will return samples back to Earth - only the third nation to do so after the US and Russia China also has plans to land people on the moon, possibly beyond 2020
|China sent a mission to the moon from the southwestern Xichang satellite launch centre this morning (shown). The spacecraft will fly around the moon on an eight-day mission. It is intended to be a precursor to a mission to the lunar surface in 2017|
|Last year China successfully landed and operated a rover on the moon called Jade Rabbit, shown. However, it ultimately succumbed to the bitterly cold lunar nights. China's next mission to the lunar surface in 2017 will lift return samples to Earth|