Chinese ground crews are preparing to return to the lunar probe, which is the first fresh rock and debris samples brought back from the moon in 45 years.

It is expected that the E-1 probe will land on the Xiziwang area in a vast area of ​​Inner Mongolia on Wednesday night or early Thursday. The China National Space Administration said it launched the engine early on Wednesday to make it operate as planned before the orbiter separated from the return vehicle, and all systems were operating as expected.

According to official media reports, the small size, darkness and heavy snow of the returning vehicle will complicate the recovery of the vehicle. Officials asked Xinhua News Agency to quote Bian Hancheng as saying that the plan requires it to bounce off the earth’s atmosphere to reduce its speed, and then pass and float on the parachute, making it difficult to accurately calculate the landing position. The rescuers said.

China Central Television’s CCTV showed a base of four military helicopters on a snow-covered grassland on Wednesday morning. The occupants on the ground vehicles will also seek signal training. Despite its large area, it is relatively familiar due to its use as a landing site for the Chinese Shenzhou crew spacecraft.

E-5 landed on the moon on December 1, and collected about 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds) of samples by drilling 2 meters (about 6 feet) in the lunar crust from the surface sc. The sample is placed in a sealed container, which is transported back to the return module by the ascent cart.

See also  The oldest and most distant disk Galaxy has been discovered 12.3 billion light years away from the earth

The lander with the Chinese flag was used as the launch pad for the ascender and ceased to function shortly after the ascender ejected from the orbiter and stopped on the lunar surface after transferring the sample.

The return of this spacecraft will mark the first time scientists have obtained fresh samples of lunar rocks since the Soviet Luna 24 robot probed in 1976.

The E-5 was launched from a launch base in Hainan, an island province in southern China, on November 23. The mission is expected to last 23 days.

It marks the third time that China has successfully landed on the moon, but it is also the only moon that has lifted off from the moon. Its predecessor, Chang’e-4, became the first probe to land on the far end of the moon, and continues to send data about conditions that may affect humans’ future stay on the moon.

The moon has always been a special focus of China’s space program, which says it plans to land humans there and possibly build a permanent base. No timetable or other details were announced.

China has also joined the work of exploring Mars. In July, it launched the “Astronomy 1” probe, which carries a lander and a robotic rover to search for water.

China’s space program was carried out more cautiously than the US-Soviet space race in the 1960s, which was characterized by death and launch failure.

In 2003, China became the third country to put astronauts into orbit by itself after the Soviet Union and the United States.

See also  Didi-owned apps ordered to be taken down in China due to violations of personal data collection

The latest flight includes cooperation with the European Space Agency, which is assisting in surveillance missions. Due to concerns about the confidentiality of China’s space program and close military ties, the United States prohibits cooperation between NASA and CNSA unless approved by Congress. This prevents China from participating in the International Space Station. It is trying to make up for this by launching an experimental space station, and plans to complete a permanent orbital outpost within the next two years.

The rocks and debris brought back by Chang’e-5 are believed to be billions of years younger than those obtained by the United States and the former Soviet Union. This provides new insights into the history of the moon and other objects in the solar system.

They come from a part of the moon called the lunar ocean, or stormy ocean, located near a site called “Mons Rumker”, which is believed to have been a volcano in ancient times.

Like the 382 kg (842 lb) lunar samples brought back by American astronauts from 1969 to 1972, their age and composition will be analyzed and may be shared with other countries.

Is the MacBook Air M1 the portable beast of the laptop you always wanted? We discussed on the weekly technical podcast Orbital, you can subscribe via Apple Podcast, Google Podcast or RSS, download the episode, or click the play button below.