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Chang’e-5 now in lunar orbit

The new colonial movement: China’s lunar sample return probe Chang’e-5 has now entered in lunar orbit, with its landing to occur in three days.

Over the next week, the probe, composed of four parts – the orbiter, lander, ascender and Earth re-entry module – will perform multiple complicated tasks on a tight schedule.

The four parts will separate into two pairs. The lander and ascender will head to the moon and collect samples, while the orbiter and Earth re-entry module will continue to fly around the moon and adjust to a designated orbit, getting ready for the docking with the ascender.

The landing operation is expected in three days. Once touched down on the lunar surface, the lander will collect two kilograms of lunar sample.

The plan once on the surface is to gather a sample from the surface as well as from a six-foot deep core sample.

Conscious Choice cover

From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

 
Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.

 

“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.

 

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.

2 comments

  • Patrick Underwood

    I’m betting the sample grab is the least important part of this mission.

    Look at the flight profile. They’ve already demonstrated autonomous landing, but in this single flight they will attempt a whole pile of (Chinese) firsts: everything else necessary for either robotic or crewed Lunar missions:

    -ascent back into Lunar orbit
    -Lunar orbit rendezvous (that legendary phrase) and docking
    -transfer of materials between spacecraft
    -transfer orbit back to Earth
    -entry at Lunar return velocity
    -recovery of an interplanetary spacecraft

    So the sample grab could fail completely, and the Chinese technorati could still view it as an overwhelming success.

  • LocalFluff

    It is certainly not designed as a one-off, but as a test of a complex Earth-Moon infrastructure architecture. Especially if they actually turn around the antenna and use their L2 radio relay satellites while orbiting at the far side of the Moon (during about 45 minutes out of a 2 hour orbital period, that was the case for Apollo’s command module).

    Soviet returned samples three times by landing everything and launching a small sample capsule directly back to Earth. The obvious way to do it if some Moon dirt is all one wants.

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