China unveils on Tuesday more details about the Chang’e-5 probe, which will undergo multiple flight phases before the mission is completed.
The probe, to be launched by the end of this year, will enter the Earth-moon transfer orbit. It will slow near the moon to enter the lunar orbit and descend and land on a pre-selected area for ground research work, including collecting lunar samples, said Peng Jing, deputy chief designer of the probe from the China Academy of Space Technology, at a press conference.
After finishing its work on the moon, the ascender will rise from the lunar surface for rendezvous and docking with the orbiter flying around the moon. Then the returner will fly back to Earth via the Earth-moon transfer orbit, reenter the atmosphere and land at the Siziwang Banner (County) of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Peng said.
The lunar samples taken back by the Chang’e-5 probe will be sealed in a container and sent to labs for further analysis and research, he added.
The probe can be divided into 15 sub-systems, including structure, thermal control, antenna, sample collecting and sealing and propulsion. It is composed of an orbiter, a returner, a lander and an ascender.
The Chang’e-5 probe will be launched from Wenchang Space Launch Center in southern Hainan Province.