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 6

Chang'e 5 (Chinese: 嫦娥五号; pinyin: Cháng'é wǔhào) is an unmanned Chinese lunar exploration mission currently under development, which is expected to land on the Moon by 2017.[1][2][3] 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. Like its predecessors, the spacecraft is named after the Chinese moon goddess Chang'e.

Mission profile[edit]

The probe will be launched by Long March 5 rocket at the 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.

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][4][5]

Chang'e 5-T1[edit]

Chang'e 5-T1 is an experimental unmanned lunar mission that was launched on 23 October 2014 to conduct atmospheric re-entry tests on the capsule design planned to be used in the Chang'e 5 mission.[6][7][8][9]

Lander payload[edit]

The lander will carry landing cameras, optical cameras, a mineral spectrometer, a soil gas analytical instrument, a soil composition analytical instrument, a sampling sectional thermodetector, and a robotic drilling rig.[citation needed]