Soil sample collected by Chang'e-5 to be kept in Mao Zedong's hometown

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/11/24 22:59:13

A Long March-5 rocket, carrying the Chang'e-5 spacecraft, blasts off from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site on the coast of southern island province of Hainan, Nov. 24, 2020. China on Tuesday launched a spacecraft to collect and return samples from the moon, the country's first attempt to retrieve samples from an extraterrestrial body. (Xinhua/Jin Liwang)

Part of the soil sample collected by China's Chang'e-5 from the Moon will be preserved in Central China's Hunan Province as a tribute to late Chinese leader Mao Zedong who hailed from Hunan and once wrote "We can clasp the moon in the Ninth Heaven."

At 4:30 am on Tuesday, the Chang'e-5 lunar probe was successfully launched, marking the first time that China could potentially bring back samples from outer space.

Media reports said that Chang'e-5 is scheduled to touch down in an area that has never been visited either by probe or humans, in a massive lava plain known as Oceanus Procellarum, or "Ocean of Storms" - a region in the Moon's northwest corner which is visible to the naked eye from Earth. 

Samples weighing 2 kilograms will reportedly be brought back from the Moon. Scientists pointed out that the formation of the "Ocean of Storms" region is relatively late and is the best place to study the constituents of the Moon.

After collecting soil from the Moon, the samples will be brought back for scientists to research.

Wu Weiren, chief designer of China's lunar exploration project, said last year that the samples Chang'e-5 brings from the Moon will be preserved in two parts, one in Beijing and the other in Hunan.

If the Chang'e-5 mission is successful, China will become the third country in the world to bring lunar samples back after the US and Russia.

Global Times

Posted in: SOCIETY

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