BEIJING (AP) – On Tuesday, China moved a massive rocket to its site in preparation for launching a mission to return materials from the moon for the first time in four decades.
The long March-5 was transported by tractor from its hangar to a nearby launch site at the Wenchang space base off the coast of the southern island province of Hainan.
The Chang’e 5 mission, which he will carry, should start early next week, placing a landing on the moon that will break 2 meters (almost 7 feet) below the surface and scoop up rocks and other debris that will be brought to earth. . This would allow scientists to study the newly obtained lunar materials for the first time from American and Russian missions in the 1
The mission, named after the Chinese goddess of the moon, is among the most ambitious in China, as its space program continues to accumulate steam since it first launched a man into space in 2003, becoming only the third country to do so after USA and Russia.
China currently has a mission on its way to Mars, along with a rover on the far side of the moon, which provides the first complete measurements of radiation exposure from the lunar surface, information vital to any country planning to send astronauts to the moon.
China is increasingly engaging with foreign countries on missions, although US law still hinders cooperation with NASA by excluding China from partnering with the International Space Station. This has prompted China to work on its own space station and launch its own programs that put it in steady competition with Japan and India among Asian countries seeking to achieve new achievements in space.
The space program has progressed cautiously, with relatively few setbacks in recent years. The long March 5, dubbed the “Fat 5” because of its bulky shape, failed in a previous launch attempt, but China’s vast pool of technical and engineering talent seems to have allowed it to overcome most obstacles.