Chang’e-5 probe 2020 : Chinese Moon Mission | UPSC
China to launch moon probe, seeking first lunar rock retrieval since 1970s
WHY IN NEWS:
The Chang’e-5 probe, named after the ancient Chinese goddess of the moon, will seek to collect material that can help scientists understand more about the moon’s origins and formation.
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Space
CHANG’E 5 MISSION | SOURCES : WIKI COMMONS
The Chinese Lunar Exploration Program is designed to be conducted in four phases of incremental technological advancement.
- FIRST PHASE : The first was simply reaching lunar orbit, a task completed by Chang’e 1 in 2007 and Chang’e 2 in 2010.
- SECOND PHASE : The second is landing and roving on the Moon, as Chang’e 3 did in 2013 and Chang’e 4 in 2019.
- THIRD PHASE : The third phase is collecting lunar samples from the near side and sending them to Earth, a task for the future Chang’e 5 and Chang’e 6 missions.
- FOURTH PHASE : The fourth phase consists of development of a robotic research station near the Moon’s south pole.
- It will launch from the Wenchang Satellite launch centre in Hainan.
- China’s probe, scheduled to launch in coming days, will attempt to collect 2 kg (4 1/2 pounds) of samples.
- Subsequent data will be taken from orbital remote sensing missions have shown a wider diversity of rock types, mineralogies and ages.
- The Chang’e-5 mission may help answer questions such as how long the moon remained volcanically active in its interior .
- Also, about its magnetic field – key to protecting any form of life from the sun’s radiation – dissipated.
The lander will carry
- Landing cameras and a panoramic camera
- A spectrometer to determine mineral composition
- A soil gas analytical instrument
- A soil composition analytical instrument
- A sampling sectional thermo-detector
- A ground-penetrating radar.
SOURCES : WIKI COMMONS | Chang’e-5 probe 2020 : Chinese Moon Mission | UPSC
- Once in the moon’s orbit, the probe will aim to deploy a pair of vehicles to the surface.
- If this is successful, the samples will be transferred to a return capsule that will return them to Earth.
- China made its first lunar landing in 2013.
- In January 2019, the Chang’e-4 probe touched down on the far side of the moon, the first by any nation’s space probe.
- The Soviet Union crash-landed the Luna 2 on the moon in 1959, a handful of other countries including Japan and India have launched moon missions.
- The last, the Luna 24, retrieved 170.1 grams (6 ounces) of samples in 1976 from Mare Crisium, or “Sea of Crises”.
- They brought back 382 kg (842 pounds) of rocks and soil.
- The Chang’e-5 probe, named after the ancient Chinese goddess of the moon.
- It is to be developed through the Chang’e-6,7 and 8 missions through the 2020s and expanded through the 2030s ahead of manned landings.
- China plans to retrieve samples from Mars by 2030.
- In July, China launched an unmanned probe to Mars in its first independent mission to another planet.
SOURCES: THE IE | Chang’e-5 probe 2020 : Chinese Moon Mission | UPSC