Beijing, December 6 – On Sunday, the Chinese space administration (CNSA) announced that China’s ascending Chang’e-5 spacecraft has successfully met and docked with an orbiter-retractor combination in lunar orbit.
This is the first time Chinese spacecraft have encountered and docked in a lunar orbit.
Samples collected on the moon have shifted from ascending to returning, CNSA said.
The Chang’e-5 is one of the most complex and challenging missions in Chinese aerospace history and the world’s first moon sampling mission in over 40 years.
Chang’e-5, consisting of an Orbiter, Lander, Ascending and Returning spacecraft, was launched on November 24, and its lander-ascender combination landed north of Mons Rumker in Oceanus Procellarum, also known as the Ocean of Storms, on the near side of Moon 1 of December.
After the samples were collected and sealed, on December 3, the ascending Chang’e-5 took off from the lunar surface.
Then the returning from orbit will separate from the ascendant and wait for the right time to return to Earth.