Link here. The Chinese mission, the first to bring back lunar samples since the 1970s, is now set for launch on November 24, 2020.
Chang’e-5 includes a lander, ascender, orbiter and returner. After the spacecraft enters the Moon’s orbit, the lander-and-ascender pair will split off and descend close to Mons Rümker, a 1,300-metre-high volcanic complex in the northern region of Oceanus Procellarum — the vast, dark lava plains visible from Earth. Once the craft has touched down, it will drill up to 2 metres into the ground and extend a robotic arm to scoop up about 2 kilograms of surface material. The material will be stored in the ascender for lift-off.
The descent and ascent will take place over one lunar day, which is equivalent to around 14 Earth days, to avoid the extreme overnight temperatures that could damage electronics, says Clive Neal, a geoscientist at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana.
…Once the ascender is back in lunar orbit, the samples will be transferred to the returner. This in-flight rendezvous will be complex and “a good rehearsal for future human exploration”, says James Carpenter, a research coordinator for human and robotic exploration at the European Space Agency in Noordwijk, the Netherlands. China plans to send people to the Moon from around 2030.
The Chang’e-5 spacecraft will then journey back to Earth, with the lander parachuting toward Siziwang Banner in Inner Mongolia, northern China, probably sometime in early December.
The location, as shown in the image above, is in the northern mid-latitudes of the Moon’s nearside, and is a place where some relatively recent volcanic activity might have occurred, though still in the far past.
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