SpaceX launches 60 more Starlink internet satellites in 100th Falcon 9 launch

112420-launch.jpg
A time exposure captures the fiery trajectory of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket climbing away from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station carrying 60 Starlink internet relay satellites. It was the company’s 23rd launch so far this year, the 100th for the workhorse Falcon 9 since the rocket’s debut in 2010 and a record seventh flight for the booster’s first stage.

William Harwood/CBS News


SpaceX fired off a Falcon 9 rocket from Florida on Tuesday night, marking the company’s 100th overall and 23rd so far this year. The rocket boosted off another set of 60 Starlink internet satellites into orbit using a first stage making a record seventh flight.

The latest batch of Starlinks pushed the total number launched to date to 955 as SpaceX continues building out a globe-spanning constellation of internet relay satellites designed to provide broadband services to subscribers anywhere on the planet. Thousands more satellites are planned.

The well-traveled booster’s nine engines ignited at 9:13 p.m. ET, throttled up to full power and quickly pushed the slender rocket away from pad 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station atop a brilliant jet of flaming exhaust.

Liftoff came three days later than planned because of high winds that delayed a first stage engine test firing and rough weather in the off-shore booster recovery zone.

But it was clear sailing Tuesday as the 30-story-tall Falcon 9 raced away over the Atlantic Ocean, putting on a spectacular early evening show for area residents and tourists.

The rocket’s first stage was making a record seventh trip out of the lower atmosphere, becoming SpaceX’s Falcon 9 “fleet leader.” Two-and-a-half minutes after launch, it’s nine Merlin 1D engines shut down and it separated from the Falcon 9’s second stage.

While the second stage continued toward orbit on the power of its single vacuum-rated engine, the first stage plunged back to Earth, guiding itself to a picture-perfect landing on a waiting SpaceX droneship. Touchdown marked the company’s 67th successful booster recovery, its 46th at sea and its second landing in two days.

Elon Musk, SpaceX founder and chief designer, said Falcon 9 “block 5” first stages should be able to fly up to 10 times without a major overhaul and up to 100 times with scheduled inspections and maintenance.

In any case, a few seconds after the booster touched down on the “Of Course I Still Love You” droneship, the Falcon 9’s second stage shut down and six minutes after that, the 60 Starlink internet relay satellites were released to fly on their own.

SpaceX currently is testing initial Starlink service across parts of Canada and the northern U.S. The company has regulatory

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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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Small U.S. launch firm Rocket Lab recovers rocket, in test of reusability

FILE PHOTO: Rocket Lab CEO Peter Beck sits alongside a Rutherford rocket engine in Auckland, New Zealand, October 20 2015. REUTERS/Nigel Marple

(Reuters) – Small launch firm Rocket Lab was able to safely recover from the ocean a rocket it sent to space, its chief executive said on Monday, a key test of the company’s strategy to slash rocket launch costs via reusability.

California-based Rocket Lab’s 16th mission to space using its Electron rocket took off last Thursday from the company’s New Zealand launch site, with its four-storey-tall booster stage returning back to Earth under parachutes for the first time instead of burning up in the atmosphere.

The recovery test comes as other launch companies ramp up investments into reusable systems after the industry was jolted by successes from the reusable Falcon 9 rocket of Elon Musk’s SpaceX.

“What it really proved to us is that, yep, this is a feasible approach, and we’re really confident that we can make Electron a reusable launch vehicle from here,” Rocket Lab’s chief executive, Peter Beck, told reporters on Monday. “It was always a little bit of an unknown until you actually get it back.”

With its next reusability test planned for early next year, Rocket Lab’s eventual plan is to pluck the rocket booster mid-air using a helicopter as it floats down from space. SpaceX’s Falcon 9, on the other hand, returns from space by using its rocket engines to land on platforms.

“If we can get the reusability to the point where it is a really light touch between flights, then of course the economics change,” Beck said, adding that the majority of Electron’s cost comes from its first stage.

Reporting by Joey Roulette in Washington; Editing by Greg Mitchell and Matthew Lewis

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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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Four Ways Parents Can Help Launch Recent College Grads’ Careers

Co-Founder of Early Stage Careers, providing tailored career guidance exclusively to college students, recent grads and 20-somethings.

For early careerists, the current job marketplace presents unique difficulties, and many have been unable to immediately launch their careers after graduating college. Parents of these job seekers face a similarly challenging situation: They want to see their adult children successfully launch their careers, but many do not understand how to effectively support them through this process.

With the holidays approaching — and pandemic restrictions still in place — parents and job seekers may be spending time together, so it’s vital for parents to understand the important role they play in this process.

Here are four ways parents can help their early careerist get hired.

1. Recognize today’s reality.

It’s vital for parents to understand that the hiring landscape for early careerists has changed dramatically since they sought their first jobs. Recruiters no longer travel in droves to college campuses, and in-person recruitment has been majorly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

While it was not uncommon for college students to choose from a number of job offers a few decades ago, it is far more common for today’s college students to graduate without an employment offer in hand. Similarly, on-the-job training is becoming less and less common: Today’s entry-level hires are often expected to contribute on day one, and a job seeker may need to do additional skill-building through internships and/or coursework before they’re even considered for a job — a degree is simply no longer enough.

Even those parents who have recently embarked on their own job search must understand that the hiring process is very different for senior- and executive-level employees than it is for those just launching their careers.

2. Counsel with compassion.

Parents should not see an immediate lack of employment as failure. They should manage their expectations for their young adult’s job search — it may take time as they build the skills and experience needed to secure employment.

Instead of lecturing their early careerist on next steps, a parent should strive to practice active listening. Ask open-ended questions, practice active curiosity, and fight the urge to drive the job search.

Remember, a parent’s purpose in this process is not to provide a solution. Above all, parents should strive to engage and empathize with their adult child, especially as rejection is a natural part of the process that can challenge an early careerist’s resilience.

3. Practice ‘rolo-dexterity.’

The arena of networking provides an avenue for parents to aid in their early careerist’s job search more actively. Parents can practice “rolo-dexterity” by providing a few key contacts for a young job seeker to contact.

It’s important to be intentional when opening your network to an early careerist — this is where the dexterity comes in. Providing a twenty-something with the entire list of contacts you’ve developed over a multiple-decades-long career is likely to be more overwhelming than helpful. Choose one or two people who you think might

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China to launch moon mission, seeking to be first country in decades to collect lunar rocks

China is preparing to send an unmanned spacecraft to a previously unexplored part of the moon on Tuesday in a bid to bring back material that could help scientists better understand the satellite’s origins.



a man in a blue shirt standing in front of a crowd: Workers prepare for the launch of the Long March-5 rocket, which will carry the Chang'e-5 lunar mission, at the Wenchang Space Launch Center in southern China's Hainan province on Nov. 23, 2020.


© Tingshu Wang/Reuters
Workers prepare for the launch of the Long March-5 rocket, which will carry the Chang’e-5 lunar mission, at the Wenchang Space Launch Center in southern China’s Hainan province on Nov. 23, 2020.

Only the United States and the Soviet Union have successfully brought lunar material back to Earth.

Chang’e-5 is scheduled to launch from the Wenchang Space Launch Center in Hainan province between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. local time Tuesday. The mission is named for the Chinese goddess of the moon.

The Long March-5 launch rocket carrying the Chang’e-5’s four modules — the lander, the ascent vehicle, the service capsule and the return capsule — began its fueling process on Monday, Chinese state media reported.



a person in a blue shirt: A patch for the China Lunar Exploration Program is displayed on the uniform of a worker at the Wenchang Space Launch Center on Nov. 23, 2020.


© Mark Schiefelbein/AP
A patch for the China Lunar Exploration Program is displayed on the uniform of a worker at the Wenchang Space Launch Center on Nov. 23, 2020.

The lander is scheduled to touch down in an area called Oceanus Procellarum and stay on the moon for only as long as one lunar day — the equivalent of around two weeks on Earth.

Once there, it will attempt to dig about seven feet into the ground, then transfer the collected material to the ascender. According to NASA, the ascender will then dock on the service capsule, at which point the samples will be transferred to the return capsule. That capsule will then return to Earth, where it is expected to land in Inner Mongolia early next month. The mission’s goal is to collect about 4.5 pounds of material for research.

Jack Singal, an associate professor of physics at the University of Richmond, said that — if successful — the mission will allow scientists to directly date the rocks and volcanic activity from the collection site. By then calibrating the age to crater density, he said, it could set the stage to “give us a better handle on dating rocks on the rest of the surface of the moon and other rocky bodies,” including Mercury and Mars.

The mission, Singal said, is “an appropriate-scale mission for an emerging space power.”

The endeavor is the latest in China’s ambitious plans to expand its research in space, a rivalrous aspect of the U.S-China relationship.

In July, China launched its Tianwen-1 mission, marking the country’s first attempt to land a rover on Mars. NASA launched its Mars mission, called Perseverance, the next week. The United Arab Emirates also launched an orbiter to Mars that month.

In January 2019, China became the first country to successfully land a spacecraft on the far side of the moon. On that mission, called Chang’e 4, the craft landed in the Von Kármán crater, located in the South Pole-Aitken basin. The Chinese National Space Administration said the landing “marked a new chapter in the

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Watch the Best Bits From SpaceX’s Sentinel-6 Satellite Launch

SpaceX nailed another rocket launch and landing on Saturday, November 21, this time sending the Sentinel-6 ocean-monitoring satellite into orbit.

SpaceX mission launches are always a sight to behold, with space fans truly spoiled with amazing footage showing the key stages in real-time and in astonishing detail, including the rocket blasting off from the launchpad, the landing of the first-stage booster back on terra firma, and the actual deployment of the satellite in space. Sometimes we get to see ships out in the ocean catching the two halves of the rocket fairing in giant nets, too.

Saturday’s mission went exactly according to plan, with SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket departing Space Launch Complex 4E at California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base at 9:17 a.m. PT.

Liftoff! pic.twitter.com/wnkvwe09Lb

— SpaceX (@SpaceX) November 21, 2020

NASA posted this footage of the booster separation followed soon after by the fairing separation that revealed the satellite shortly before its deployment.

Booster separation, second-engine start, and fairing separation as the U.S.-European Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich ocean-observing satellite is on its way to orbit.#SeeingTheSeas pic.twitter.com/EE1TIxIvp6

— NASA (@NASA) November 21, 2020

A little while later, the first-stage booster arrived back on Earth, with this footage capturing the final stages of the journey back, including the touchdown.

Falcon 9’s first stage has landed on Landing Zone 4 pic.twitter.com/eDrI5HSXaJ

— SpaceX (@SpaceX) November 21, 2020

Here are a couple more clips showing the launch and landing.

La même, faite par SpaceX. pic.twitter.com/q9XrCpCSsD

— CapCom (@Capcominfo) November 22, 2020

Cameras on board the SpaceX spacecraft also captured the deployment of the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite, named in honor of the former chief of NASA’s Earth Science Division who passed away in August.

Deployment of Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich confirmed pic.twitter.com/1ZsiSOyeaj

— SpaceX (@SpaceX) November 21, 2020

The mission was a joint effort between the European Space Agency and NASA. The satellite is designed to collect data such as sea levels, and atmospheric temperature and humidity, and offers greater accuracy than ever before. An additional satellite designed to complement the work of the Sentinel-6, called Sentinel-6b, will head to orbit in five years’ time.

This year has been a particularly busy one for rocket launches, with a growing number of companies sending their machinery skyward, some of it toward Mars. Check out this compilation, complete with launch footage, of the most notable space missions that have taken place in recent months.

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SpaceX rocket deploys latest NASA satellite into orbit after Santa Barbara County launch

Hawthorne-based SpaceX successfully launched a Falcon 9 rocket Saturday morning, Nov. 21, from Vandenberg Air Force Base in Santa Barbara County. The craft promptly deployed NASA’s Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite into orbit and doubled back to return its reusable main components to Earth.

On an unexpectedly clear morning, many residents in Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties got a good view of the airshow and could hear a series of sonic booms following liftoff.

Farther south in Los Angeles County, residents might have caught a glimpse of the rocket’s smoky trail as it powered the satellite into orbit, then reversed course and returned to Vandenberg for recovery and use in future missions.

The launch was scheduled for 9:17 a.m., and SpaceX tweeted a video showing the successful liftoff at 9:19 a.m.

At 9:28 a.m., the company tweeted that “Falcon 9’s first stage has landed on Landing Zone 4,” and deployment of Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich was confirmed at 10:18 a.m.

The rocket cut loose the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite, which joins a nearly 30-year project to measure global sea-surface height, while also providing atmospheric data that, officials say, will improve weather forecasts, climate modeling and hurricane tracking.

That satellite’s twin, dubbed Sentinel 6B, will join the mission in 2025.

The namesake of Saturday’s satellite was NASA’s former Earth Science Division director. Freilich died in August, about seven months after NASA announced the satellite would bear his name. He was 66.

“Mike’s excellence as a scientist is well known,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a written statement after Freilich died. “His dedication to oceanography and helping train the next generation of scientific leaders was inspiring.

 

“This satellite,” Bridenstine added about the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich, “will gather critical information about the oceans for which Mike had such an abiding passion.”

Three science instruments aboard the satellite were built by Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena — the Advanced Microwave Radiometer, the Global Navigation Satellite System-Radio Occultation and the Laser Retroreflector Array.

The ocean-monitoring program was developed by the European Space Agency in conjunction with NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

 

The launch was the second triumph in a week’s time for the South Bay rocketbuilder.

The company’s Crew Dragon capsule docked at the International Space Station on Monday, Nov. 16, to engage in a history-making six-month science mission by its four-person crew, which includes Pomona native Victor Glover.

The Dragon capsule’s docking concluded a 27-hour, completely automated flight from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. The Space Station will be home and workplace for the four-astronaut crew until spring.

Among the capsule crew is Navy Cmdr. Glover, 44, the first Black astronaut to serve on an extended Space Station Mission. Glover, a Navy commander, aviator and test pilot, is taking his first spaceflight as a Crew Dragon First Mission astronaut. He was presented his gold astronaut

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China to launch moon probe, seeking first lunar rock retrieval since 1970s

BEIJING (Reuters) – China plans to launch an unmanned spacecraft to the moon this week to bring back lunar rocks in the first attempt by any nation to retrieve samples from Earth’s natural satellite since the 1970s.

FILE PHOTO: The moon is seen during a lunar eclipse over Shanghai, China July 28, 2018. REUTERS/Aly Song/File photo

The Chang’e-5 probe, named after the ancient Chinese goddess of the moon, will seek to collect material that can 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.

If successful, the mission will make China only the third country to have retrieved lunar samples, following the United States and the Soviet Union decades ago.

Since the Soviet Union crash-landed the Luna 2 on the moon in 1959, the first human-made object to reach another celestial body, a handful of other countries including Japan and India have launched moon missions.

In the Apollo programme, which first put men on the moon, the United States landed 12 astronauts over six flights from 1969 to 1972, bringing back 382 kg (842 pounds) of rocks and soil.

The Soviet Union deployed three successful robotic sample return missions in the 1970s. The last, the Luna 24, retrieved 170.1 grams (6 ounces) of samples in 1976 from Mare Crisium, or “Sea of Crises”.

China’s probe, scheduled to launch in coming days, will attempt to collect 2 kg (4 1/2 pounds) of samples in a previously unvisited area in a massive lava plain known as Oceanus Procellarum, or “Ocean of Storms”.

“The Apollo-Luna sample zone of the moon, while critical to our understanding, was undertaken in an area that comprises far less than half the lunar surface,” said James Head, a planetary scientist at Brown University.

Subsequent data from orbital remote sensing missions have shown a wider diversity of rock types, mineralogies and ages than represented in the Apollo-Luna sample collections, he said.

“Lunar scientists have been advocating for robotic sample return missions to these many different critical areas in order to address a host of fundamental questions remaining from earlier exploration,” Head said.

The Chang’e-5 mission may help answer questions such as how long the moon remained volcanically active in its interior and when its magnetic field – key to protecting any form of life from the sun’s radiation – dissipated.

THE MISSION

Once in the moon’s orbit, the probe will aim to deploy a pair of vehicles to the surface: a lander will drill into the ground, then transfer its soil and rock samples to an ascender that will lift off and dock with an orbiting module.

If this is successful, the samples will be transferred to a return capsule that will return them to Earth.

China made its first lunar landing in 2013. In January 2019, the Chang’e-4 probe touched down on the far side of the moon, the first by any nation’s space probe.

Within the next decade, China

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China to Launch Moon Probe, Seeking First Lunar Rock Retrieval Since 1970s | World News

BEIJING (Reuters) – China plans to launch an unmanned spacecraft to the moon this week to bring back lunar rocks in the first attempt by any nation to retrieve samples from Earth’s natural satellite since the 1970s.

The Chang’e-5 probe, named after the ancient Chinese goddess of the moon, will seek to collect material that can 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.

If successful, the mission will make China only the third country to have retrieved lunar samples, following the United States and the Soviet Union decades ago.

Since the Soviet Union crash-landed the Luna 2 on the moon in 1959, the first human-made object to reach another celestial body, a handful of other countries including Japan and India have launched moon missions.

In the Apollo programme, which first put men on the moon, the United States landed 12 astronauts over six flights from 1969 to 1972, bringing back 382 kg (842 pounds) of rocks and soil.

The Soviet Union deployed three successful robotic sample return missions in the 1970s. The last, the Luna 24, retrieved 170.1 grams (6 ounces) of samples in 1976 from Mare Crisium, or “Sea of Crises”.

China’s probe, scheduled to launch in coming days, will attempt to collect 2 kg (4 1/2 pounds) of samples in a previously unvisited area in a massive lava plain known as Oceanus Procellarum, or “Ocean of Storms”.

“The Apollo-Luna sample zone of the moon, while critical to our understanding, was undertaken in an area that comprises far less than half the lunar surface,” said James Head, a planetary scientist at Brown University.

Subsequent data from orbital remote sensing missions have shown a wider diversity of rock types, mineralogies and ages than represented in the Apollo-Luna sample collections, he said.

“Lunar scientists have been advocating for robotic sample return missions to these many different critical areas in order to address a host of fundamental questions remaining from earlier exploration,” Head said.

The Chang’e-5 mission may help answer questions such as how long the moon remained volcanically active in its interior and when its magnetic field – key to protecting any form of life from the sun’s radiation – dissipated.

Once in the moon’s orbit, the probe will aim to deploy a pair of vehicles to the surface: a lander will drill into the ground, then transfer its soil and rock samples to an ascender that will lift off and dock with an orbiting module.

If this is successful, the samples will be transferred to a return capsule that will return them to Earth.

China made its first lunar landing in 2013. In January 2019, the Chang’e-4 probe touched down on the far side of the moon, the first by any nation’s space probe.

Within the next decade, China plans to establish a robotic base station to conduct unmanned exploration in the south polar region.

It is to be developed

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