Chinese spacecraft has made its way to the Moon, planting the country's red flag there. Chang'e-5 lunar mission took off from the Moon on Thursday with lunar surface substance. "It will be a milestone for China's aerospace development," Song Zhongping, an aerospace expert and TV commentator, said.
After successfully controlling the spread of coronavirus, China has achieved yet another milestone-in the sky this time. Chinese spacecraft has made its way to the Moon, planting the country's red flag there. After half a century, we are witnessing the inspiration from the Apollo missions. China is now the second country-after U.S.-to plant its flag on the earth's natural satellite.
Per CBS News, China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation's Chang'e-5 lunar mission took off from the Moon on Thursday. Loaded with soil and rock samples, the spacecraft took off within 19 hours after landing on Moon's surface.
Speaking to the 'The Times', Wang Ya'nan, Chief Editor of Aerospace Knowledge magazine, said, "This is the first attempt in China's aerospace history to lift off from a celestial body other than Earth. The launch is a major test, in that the vehicle had to rely entirely on automatic maneuvers without any ground command," He further said, "If the probe receives a command from the Earth to help it control the separation, altitude, and speed, there will be at least one-second delay, which will put the process in great danger."
Chang said that his team worked hard to select the right materials for the flag to tolerate the extremity of weather on the moon for a longer time. The finalized flag was planted on December 3.
The Chinese National Space Administration (CNSA) announced that the Chang'e-5 lander also planted the National Flag of the People’s Republic of China 🇨🇳 on the lunar surface pic.twitter.com/R3GFGH42pi— StarBoy 🥭 (@StarboyHK) December 4, 2020
He stated: "An ordinary national flag on Earth would not survive the severe lunar environment."
An exciting part of the mission was the use of a lunar probe to plant the country's flag into the surface. The flag was planted in a volcanic region called Mons Rümke, northwest of the nearside of the Moon's surface. While talking to the Global Times, Wang told that the launch from the moon could not afford any time delay. "If the probe receives a command from the Earth to help it control the separation, altitude, and speed, there will be at least one-second delay, which will put the process in great danger."
A challenging factor for the lunar takeoff is that the lander-ascender combination might sit on a slope, which would bring uncertainty to the probe's altitude and position. It means that the probe must ensure its own altitude is precise enough to enter the designated orbit through automatic decision-making, according to a statement sent to the Global Times from the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC.).
To verify the takeoff, the researchers that were a part of the mission conducted ground simulations. Still, the verifications are difficult due to the particularities of the lunar environment, the CASC said.
"It will be a milestone for China's aerospace development," Song Zhongping, an aerospace expert and TV commentator, said, calling it "a foresighted practice that lays a technological foundation for future deep-space explorations."
"It will also verify the viability of manned lunar landing missions, and even the construction of a lunar research base, or Mars missions," he told the Global Times.