The Long March-5 Y5 launch vehicle launched the Chang’e-5 lunar probe from the Wenchang Space Launch Center, Hainan Province, China, on 23 November 2020, at 20:30 UTC (24 November, 04:30 local time). Chang’e-5 (嫦娥五号) is China’s first mission to attempt to collect samples from the Moon and bring them back to Earth. Credit: China Central Television (CCTV)
China's Chang'e-5 mission explained in 100 seconds | Xinhua 2020.11.25 China's #ChangE5 probe is on its way to collect the youngest pieces of the moon ever returned to Earth. Find out what's special about the mission. #LunarProbe
Chang'e-5, China's lunar probe, has successfully carried out its SECOND orbital correction at 10:06 p.m. on Wednesday and continued its trip to the moon, according to the China National Space Administration (CNSA).
This follows its first trajectory correction maneuver at 10:06 p.m. on Tuesday.
The operations, according to CNSA, is designed to keep the spacecraft on the right track.
During the maneuver, the probe's two 150N engines work for six seconds.
The Chang'e-5 probe has flown for about 41 hours and is about 270,000 kilometers away from the Earth as of the second orbit correction. All systems of the probe are in good condition.
In general, a spacecraft has to carry out several trajectory correction maneuvers before a successful landing.
Before a space flight, engineers will design a reference trajectory to describe the planned path of the spacecraft. But because of the uncertainty and disturbances in space, the spacecraft may drift away from the planned path. Sometimes even the pressure of sunlight on the spacecraft can add up over time and push the spacecraft off course.
So the control team on the ground has to closely monitor data and keep track of the spacecraft position in order to get it back on course. They need to calculate the data, create a set of commands and carry out multiple testings before uplinking these commands to the probe.
The lunar probe was carried by the Long March-5 rocket and blasted off from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site in the southern province of Hainan at 4:30 a.m. on Tuesday.
The mission, named after the ancient Chinese goddess of the moon, will seek to collect lunar material to help scientists understand more about the moon's origin and formation.
The China National Space Administration [CNSA] has revealed design specifications about the Long March 9, a super-heavy carrier rocket that will likely become one of the world's largest and mightiest launch vehicles.
Xu Hongliang, secretary-general of the administration, said on Tuesday (11/24) afternoon in Haikou, capital of Hainan province, that the Long March 9 is in the research and development stage and is expected to enter service around 2030.
The super-heavy rocket will be 93 meters tall, have a liftoff weight of 4,140 metric tons and a thrust power of 5,760 tons. Its core stage will be about 10 meters in diameter, Xu said at the Wenchang International Aviation and Aerospace Forum's opening ceremony on Tuesday.
The craft will be so powerful that it will be able to transport spacecraft with a combined weight of 140 tons to a low-Earth orbit hundreds of kilometers above the planet, he said.
Li Benqi, deputy head of the Wenchang Space Launch Center's planning department, said at the opening ceremony that the rocket will also be able to place spaceships weighing up to 50 tons in an Earth-moon transfer trajectory for lunar expeditions.
He added that the [Wenchang] center will construct a new launchpad and new testing and support facilities for the Long March 9.
Engineers at China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp [CASC], the country's leading space contractor, have started to conduct tests on the 500-ton-thrust liquid oxygen/kerosene engine, which is expected to become the nation's most powerful rocket engine, the company said.
Once Long March 9 enters operation, its carrying capacity will be more than five times that of Long March 5, currently the mightiest and tallest in China's rocket family.
The 20-story-tall Long March 5 has a liftoff weight of 869 tons and a maximum carrying capacity of 25 tons to a low-Earth orbit. A Long March 5 was launched early on Tuesday morning to send China's biggest lunar probe-Chang'e 5-to the moon.
The Long March 9 will be crucial in realizing the nation's ambitious plans for manned missions to the moon and sending large robotic spacecraft into deep space.
China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp has estimated that about 10 Long March 9s will be needed each year from 2030 to 2035 in China to serve the nation's robust demand for heavy-lift rockets.
More than 300 officials, scientists, engineers, business representatives and delegates from overseas space organizations took part in the two-day forum, the first of its kind in Hainan.
The island province in South China is determined to develop local space-related industries as a new engine for its economy, local officials said.
BEIJING, Nov. 28 (Xinhua) -- China's Chang'e-5 probe decelerated and entered the lunar orbit on Saturday, completing a vital step on its way to collect and return moon samples, the China National Space Administration (CNSA) announced.
After flying about 112 hours from Earth, an engine on the probe ignited when it was 400 km away from the surface of the moon at 8:58 p.m. and shut down after about 17 minutes, the CNSA said.
The probe performed the braking without incident and entered the lunar orbit successfully, according to the real-time monitoring data.
Chang'e-5, comprising an orbiter, a lander, an ascender, and a returner, has carried out two orbital corrections during the Earth-Moon transfer, achieving its expected goals.
Afterward, it will adjust the altitude and inclination of its orbit around the moon. When the time is appropriate, the lander-ascender combination will separate from the orbiter-returner combination, implement a soft landing on the near side of the moon, and carry out automatic sampling as planned.
At 20:58 on November 28, Beijing time, the Chang'e-5 probe flew to the moon for about 112 hours and successfully ignited a 3000N engine at a distance of about 400 kilometers from the lunar surface. About 17 minutes later, the engine shut down normally. According to the monitoring and judgment of real-time telemetry data, the Chang'e-5 probe braked normally in recent months and entered the orbit around the moon smoothly.