China calls launch a success as robotic spacecraft heads to moon

WENCHANG, China (Reuters) – China hailed as a success its pre-dawn launch on Tuesday of a robotic spacecraft to bring back rocks from the moon in the first bid by any country to retrieve lunar surface samples since the 1970s, a mission underscoring Chinese ambitions in space.

The Long March-5 Y5 rocket, carrying the Chang’e-5 lunar probe, takes off from Wenchang Space Launch Center, in Wenchang, Hainan province, China November 24, 2020. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang

The Long March-5, China’s largest carrier rocket, blasted off at 4:30 a.m. Beijing time (2030 GMT on Monday) in a launch from Wenchang Space Launch Center on the southern Chinese island of Hainan carrying the Chang’e-5 spacecraft.

The China National Space Administration (CNSA) called the launch a success and said in a statement that the rocket flew for nearly 37 minutes before sending the spacecraft on its intended trajectory.

The Chang’e-5 mission, named after the ancient Chinese goddess of the moon, will seek to collect lunar material to help scientists understand more about the moon’s origins and formation. The mission will test China’s ability to remotely acquire samples from space, ahead of more complex missions.

State broadcaster CCTV, which ran live coverage of the launch, showed images of CNSA staff in blue uniforms applauding and cheering as they watched the spacecraft climbing through the atmosphere, lighting up the night sky.

If the mission is completed as planned, it would make China only the third country to have retrieved lunar samples, joining the United States and the Soviet Union.

Upon entering the moon’s orbit, the spacecraft is intended to deploy a pair of vehicles to the lunar surface: a lander and an ascender. The landing is due to take place in about eight days, according to Pei Zhaoyu, a spokesman for the mission. The probe is due to be on the lunar surface for about two days, while the entire mission is scheduled to take around 23 days.

The plan is for the lander to drill into the lunar surface, with a robotic arm scooping out soil and rocks. This material would be transferred to the ascender vehicle, which is due to carry it from the surface and then dock with an orbiting module.

The samples then would be transferred to a return capsule for the return trip to Earth, with a landing in China’s Inner Mongolia region.

“The biggest challenges … are the sampling work on the lunar surface, take-off from the lunar surface, rendezvous and docking in the lunar orbit, as well as high-speed re-entry to Earth,” said Pei, also director of the space administration’s Lunar Exploration and Space Engineering Center.

“We can conduct sampling through circumlunar and moon- landing exploration, but it is more intuitive to obtain samples to conduct scientific research – the method is more direct,” Pei added. “Plus, there will be more instruments and more methods to study them on Earth.”

SPACE STATION PLANS

China, which last year carried out the first landing on the far side of the moon and

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China Calls Launch a Success as Robotic Spacecraft Heads to Moon | World News

WENCHANG, China (Reuters) – China hailed as a success its pre-dawn launch on Tuesday of a robotic spacecraft to bring back rocks from the moon in the first bid by any country to retrieve lunar surface samples since the 1970s, a mission underscoring Chinese ambitions in space.

The Long March-5, China’s largest carrier rocket, blasted off at 4:30 a.m. Beijing time (2030 GMT on Monday) in a launch from Wenchang Space Launch Center on the southern Chinese island of Hainan carrying the Chang’e-5 spacecraft.

The China National Space Administration (CNSA) called the launch a success and said in a statement that the rocket flew for nearly 37 minutes before sending the spacecraft on its intended trajectory.

The Chang’e-5 mission, named after the ancient Chinese goddess of the moon, will seek to collect lunar material to help scientists understand more about the moon’s origins and formation. The mission will test China’s ability to remotely acquire samples from space, ahead of more complex missions.

State broadcaster CCTV, which ran live coverage of the launch, showed images of CNSA staff in blue uniforms applauding and cheering as they watched the spacecraft climbing through the atmosphere, lighting up the night sky.

If the mission is completed as planned, it would make China only the third country to have retrieved lunar samples, joining the United States and the Soviet Union.

Upon entering the moon’s orbit, the spacecraft is intended to deploy a pair of vehicles to the lunar surface: a lander and an ascender. The landing is due to take place in about eight days, according to Pei Zhaoyu, a spokesman for the mission. The probe is due to be on the lunar surface for about two days, while the entire mission is scheduled to take around 23 days.

The plan is for the lander to drill into the lunar surface, with a robotic arm scooping out soil and rocks. This material would be transferred to the ascender vehicle, which is due to carry it from the surface and then dock with an orbiting module.

The samples then would be transferred to a return capsule for the return trip to Earth, with a landing in China’s Inner Mongolia region.

“The biggest challenges … are the sampling work on the lunar surface, take-off from the lunar surface, rendezvous and docking in the lunar orbit, as well as high-speed re-entry to Earth,” said Pei, also director of the space administration’s Lunar Exploration and Space Engineering Center.

“We can conduct sampling through circumlunar and moon- landing exploration, but it is more intuitive to obtain samples to conduct scientific research – the method is more direct,” Pei added. “Plus, there will be more instruments and more methods to study them on Earth.”

China, which last year carried out the first landing on the far side of the moon and in July of this year launched a robotic probe to Mars, has other space goals in its sights. It aims to have a permanent manned space station in service around

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MPS department heads share expansive list of needs to improve system’s education quality

With proper funding, there could be fewer students per class and more small-group instruction. There could be trauma-informed schools, where everyone in the building knew how to recognize when a student showed signs they needed help. There could be air conditioned auditoriums and walls without falling plaster. There could even be Korean classes.

MPS Superintendent Dr. Ann Moore discusses how the proposed property tax increase could help Montgomery Public Schools.

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Bernard Mitchell carries signs as Montgomery Public Schools leadership as well as educators and staff from across the school district canvass neighborhoods in Montgomery, Ala., on Sunday October 25, 2020 meeting with voters and asking for support of Amendment 382.


© Mickey Welsh / Advertiser
Bernard Mitchell carries signs as Montgomery Public Schools leadership as well as educators and staff from across the school district canvass neighborhoods in Montgomery, Ala., on Sunday October 25, 2020 meeting with voters and asking for support of Amendment 382.

Montgomery Public Schools’ department heads explained their list of needs to the Advertiser that they believe will improve the educational experiences for the district’s nearly 28,000 students. The system’s needs are massive, and necessary, they said.

Each explained their goals are almost entirely dependent upon the proposed property tax increase voters will consider on Election Day.

They fear that little will improve without the funding — about $33 million annually which will help the district secure a capital improvement bond and fund a lengthy list of additional offerings and resources. 

When Superintendent Ann Roy Moore first arrived in Montgomery, she set up visits to the schools and was surprised by the level of decay she saw. At that time — nearly three years ago — Moore was retired and anticipated she’d only spend about six months helping the district as the board searched for a permanent leader. 

That plan did not happen. Instead, she has dedicated herself to helping move the school system forward, despite the many hurdles she has faced.  And despite not initially being aware of the district’s low level of local funding, Moore said serving MPS has been a blessing. 

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