(Xinhua / Jin Liwang)
Beijing, December 6 (Xinhua) – Chinese spacecraft Chang’e-5 climber has successfully completed meeting and docking with an orbiter-capsule combination that has returned to lunar orbit, China’s National Space Administration (ANEC) reported Sunday.
This was the first time a Chinese spacecraft had met and docked in lunar orbit.
The samples collected on the moon were transferred from the ascender to the return capsule, ANEC said.
Chang’e-5 is one of the most complex and challenging missions in the history of the Chinese aerospace industry, and the world’s first moon sampling mission in over 40 years.
The Chinese Chang’e-5 spacecraft, consisting of an orbiter, lander, ascender and return capsule, was launched on November 24, and its combination of lander and climb vehicle touched the northern Mons Rumker in Oceanus Procellarum, also known as the Ocean of Storms, on the visible side The moon on December 1.
After the samples were collected and sealed, the Chang’e-5 spacecraft’s ascendant rose from the lunar surface on December 3.
The returning orbiter-capsule combination will then separate from the ascending vehicle and wait for the appropriate time to return to Earth.