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China’s Chang’e 5 probe prepares to land on moon

This image grab made from video animation provided by the Beijing Aerospace Control Center (BACC) shows China’s Chang’e 5 probe as it carries out a second braking maneuveur on Nov 29, 2020. (PHOTO / BEIJING AEROSPACE CONTROL CENTER)

BEIJING – China‘s Chang’e 5 probe is preparing for a soft landing on the moon to undertake the country’s first collection of samples from an extraterrestrial body.

The lander-ascender combination of the spacecraft separated from its orbiter-returner combination at 4:40 am Monday (Beijing Time), according to the China National Space Administration

The lander-ascender combination of the spacecraft separated from its orbiter-returner combination at 4:40 am Monday (Beijing Time), according to the China National Space Administration (CNSA).

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Launched on Nov 24, Chang’e 5 is one of the most complicated and challenging missions in China’s aerospace history, as well as the world’s first moon-sample mission for more than 40 years.  

The spacecraft is performing well and communication with ground control is normal, CNSA said.

READ MORE: Chang’e 5 launched to fetch moon samples

The lander-ascender combination will execute a soft landing on the moon and carry out automatic sampling. The orbiter-returner will continue orbiting about 200 kilometers above the lunar surface and wait for rendezvous and docking with the ascender.

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