Chang'e 5

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Chang'e 5
Mission type Surface sample return
Operator CNSA
Start of mission
Launch date Circa 2017
Rocket Chang Zheng 5
Launch site Wenchang
Orbital parameters
Reference system Selenocentric
Lunar orbiter
Orbital insertion Circa 2017
Lunar lander
Landing date Circa 2017

Chinese Lunar Exploration Program
← Chang'e 4

Chang'e 5 is an unmanned Chinese lunar exploration mission currently under development, which is expected to land on the moon by 2017.[1] Chang'e 5 will be China's first sample return mission, aiming to return at least 2 kilograms of lunar soil and rock samples back to the Earth.

The probe will be launched by Long March 5 rocket in Wenchang Satellite Launch Center on Hainan Island. After making a soft landing on the Moon, the lander will dig and collect a lunar sample from up to 2 meters below the surface. The lander will carry engineer landing cameras, optical cameras, a lunar mineral spectrometer, a lunar soil gas analytical instrument, a lunar soil composition analytical instrument, a sampling sectional thermodetector, and a robotic drilling rig.

Unlike earlier Soviet missions, the mission will make an automatic rendezvous and docking with the return module in lunar orbit before flying back to the Earth.[1][2][3] A separate mission with an experimental spacecraft to conduct crucial re-entry tests on the capsule to be used in the Chang'e-5 will be carried out first, sometime before 2015.[4]

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