Following the successful return of the moon rocks by its Chang’e 5 robotic probe, China is preparing for future missions that could set the stage for a possible moon base that will host human explorers, a senior official said Thursday. space program.
Mission to Mars
China’s next three moon missions are on track, along with plans for returning samples from Mars and exploration of asteroids and the planet Jupiter, said Wu Yanhua, deputy chief commander of China’s lunar exploration program. “The exploration of the truth of the universe has just begun,” Wu said in a press conference held hours after the Chang’e 5 capsule parachuted to a landing in Inner Mongolia, carrying the first lunar samples brought to the ship. Earth in more than 40 years.
2nd lunar mission in 2023
The Chang’e program made three landings there, even on the less explored side. Chang’e 6, scheduled to launch in 2023, will collect more samples from the lunar south pole, while its two successors will conduct detailed investigations and test the technologies needed to build a science base on the moon.
No dates have been given for Chang’e 7 and 8, or for a manned mission to the moon that China says is in the works, or for building a moon base. “China is willing to continue contributing to the world and improving human well-being with Chinese space solutions,” Wu said. The spacecraft and its cargo of samples were sent to the space program’s Beijing campus after landing just before 2am on Thursday.
The mission achieved first results for China’s lunar exploration program in collecting samples, launching a vehicle from the lunar surface, and anchoring the capsule to transfer the samples for their journey to Earth, the administration said. Chinese national space.
It will offer new insights
The newly collected rocks are believed to be billions of years younger than those previously obtained by the United States and the former Soviet Union, offering new insights into the history of the moon and other bodies in the solar system. They will be analyzed for age and composition and should be shared with other countries.
Amount of rocks collected from the lunar crust
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