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Chang’e-5 Collects Lunar Soil Sample

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
December 2, 2020
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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.

2 responses to “Chang’e-5 Collects Lunar Soil Sample”

  1. savuporo says:

    Seems so quick and effortless. Really hope they pull this off and quickly follow up with Chang’e-6 into polar regions to hunt volatiles

  2. therealdmt says:

    So far so good.

    Almost makes it seem like we’ve been treading water…

    If they pull off the Mars landing and rover on their first attempt this coming spring, they’ll officially be breathing down the back of our our collective neck

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