The Chang’e-5 probe has completed drilling and sampling operations on the lunar surface, the China National Space Administration confirmed.
“The Chang’e-5 probe, after 19 hours of work on the visible side of the Moon, successfully concluded at 22:00 Beijing time on December 2 (GMT + 8: 00) the automatic collection of samples of moon rock, “the statement said.
The samples, which weigh about two kilos, were deposited in a compartment of the ascent module. According to forecasts, they will reach Earth in a recoverable capsule that will land on December 16 or 17 in the Inner Mongolia region of northern China.
During the collection, the orbiter hovered about 200 kilometers above the lunar surface, waiting to meet and dock with the ascent module.
Launched on November 24, the Chang’e-5 probe landed at 23:11 Beijing time (GMT + 8: 00) on December 1 in the northwest area of the Ocean of Storms, on the visible side of the Moon. . It was the third successful moon landing by a Chinese probe.
It is the first time in 44 years that a lunar probe has extracted rocks from our satellite. To date only the United States and the Soviet Union have succeeded.