(Xinhua / Jin Liwang)
BEIJING, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) – China’s Chang’e-5 spacecraft take-off vehicle has successfully completed rendezvous and docking with the orbiter-capsule combination returned to moon orbit, said Sunday the ‘China National Space Administration (ANEC ).
This was the first time a Chinese spacecraft performed rendezvous and docked in moon orbit.
Samples collected on the moon from the ascent vehicle were transferred to the return capsule, ANEC said.
Chang’e-5 is one of the most complex and demanding missions in Chinese aerospace history, as well as the world’s first moon sample collection mission in over 40 years.
China’s Chang’e-5 probe, which includes an orbiter, a lander, an access vehicle, and a return capsule, was launched on November 24, and its take-off vehicle combination has touched north Mons Rumker in the so-called Oceanus Procellarum also in the Ocean of Storms, on the visible side of the Moon on Dec. 1.
After the samples were collected and sealed, the Chang’e-5 probe’s ascent vehicle lifted off the moon’s surface on December 3.
The return orbiter-capsule combination then separates from the ascending vehicle and waits for the right time to return to Earth.