Chang'e-5 return capsule with Moon samples separates with orbital module: CNSA

By Fan Anqi Source: Global Times Published: 2020/12/6 6:06:03 Last Updated: 2020/12/6 14:31:21

Image released by the China National Space Administration (CNSA) shows the orbiter-returner combination of China's Chang'e-5 probe approaching the ascender. The ascender of China's Chang'e-5 probe successfully rendezvoused and docked with the orbiter-returner combination in lunar orbit at 5:42 a.m. (Beijing Time) on Dec. 6, 2020, the CNSA has announced. This is the first time Chinese spacecraft have carried out rendezvous and docking in lunar orbit. (CNSA/Handout via Xinhua)






China’s Chang'e-5 lunar probe’s ascender successfully docked with the orbital module in lunar orbit on Sunday 5:42 am, some 380,000 kilometers away from Earth, and completed lunar soil sample transfer at 6:12 am from the ascender to the return capsule, the Global Times learnt from the China National Space Administration (CNSA). 

It is the the first time China has achieved a probe rendezvous and docking in lunar orbit. Under automatic self-control from the probe and long-distance guidance from the command team at Earth’s ground, the orbital module approached the ascender after it launched from the moon, and captured the ascender in a smooth operation. 

The return capsule successfully separated from the orbital module in lunar orbit at 12:35 pm on Sunday, and is waiting for a suitable time window to return to Earth, CNSA revealed.

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