China’s Chang’e-5 orbiter is moving towards the moon

China’s Chang’e-5 orbiter is moving towards the moon

The Chang’e-5 orbiter component which accelerates China’s complex lunar sample return last year is on its way towards the moon’s subsequent deep-space tests.

The orbiter, one of four distinct Chang’e-5 mission spacecraft, sent a return module containing 1.731 kilograms of lunar samples to Earth on 16th December. This is before launching its engines to deep space for an extensive operation.

The Chang’e-5 orbiter later effectively put in an anticipated orbit all-around Sun-Earth Lagrange point 1. This is nearly 1.5 million kilometers, in March. There are carried out tests in relation to orbit control and explanations of the Earth and Sun.

New statistics from satellite trackers now indicate Chang’e-5 has left its orbit in the vicinity of Sun-Earth L1. It is meant for a lunar flyby in the early hours of September 9 Eastern time.

It was noted that Chang’e-5 may have modified its orbit on 30th August. This is on the basis of interpretations by and statistics from amateur satellite chasers –
  • Daniel Estevez
  • Scott Tilley
  • Bill Gray (independent astronomy software developer)
The spacecraft is under the control of the Beijing Aerospace Flight Control Center (BACC), which is responsible for the following of the spacecraft –
  • Telemetry
  • Tracking
  • Command

BACC has not yet given an update on the plans for Chang’e-5.

Samples collected by the Chang’e-5 lander from near Mons Rümker in Oceanus Procellarum in the northwest of the near side of the moon are now under analysis. Uses for sample materials are now open to domestic and international institutions.

NASA presently has no plans to trade any of its Apollo-era lunar samples with those sent by China’s Chang’e-5 mission. Although the organization’s chief scientist Jim Green expresses hope for such trade in the future.

China’s Lunar and Planetary Data System earlier this month provide a unique update on the ongoing Chang’e-4 lunar far side mission. The Yutu-2 rover has now covered approximately 799 meters across 33 complete lunar days since landing in the Von Kármán crater in January 2019.

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