Chang'e 5

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Chang'e 5
Mission type Surface sample return
Operator CNSA
Spacecraft properties
Launch mass 8200 kg
Start of mission
Launch date 2019[1]
Rocket Chang Zheng 5
Launch site Wenchang
Orbital parameters
Reference system Selenocentric
Lunar orbiter
Orbital insertion 2019
Lunar lander
Landing date 2019
Sample mass 2kg

Chang'e 5 (Chinese: 嫦娥五号; pinyin: Cháng'é wǔhào) is a robotic Chinese lunar exploration mission currently under development, forecast for a Moon landing in 2019 after being postponed due to the failure of the Long March 5 launch vehicle in 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. Like its predecessors, the spacecraft is named after the Chinese moon goddess, Chang'e. This will be the first Lunar sample-return mission since Luna 24 in 1976.

Mission profile[edit]

The probe was planned for launch by the Long March 5 rocket at the Wenchang Satellite Launch Center on Hainan Island, but the failure of this vehicle in 2017 created uncertainty about its ability to carry Chang'e 5.[1] Targeted to the northwest region of the Moon, the specific region intended for sampling is Mons Rümker in Oceanus Procellarum.[2] After making a soft landing, the lander will dig 2 metres (6.6 ft) below the surface for a lunar sample from basalt estimated to be 1.3 billion years old, younger than the 3–4 billion year old samples obtained by the American Apollo missions.[2]

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.[3]

Chang'e 5-T1[edit]

Chang'e 5-T1 is an experimental robotic 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.[4][5]

Lander payload[edit]

The lander will carry landing cameras, optical cameras, a mineral spectrometer, a soil gas analytical instrument, a soil composition analytical instrument, and a sampling sectional thermodetector.[citation needed] For acquiring samples, it will be equipped with a robotic arm, rotary-percussive drill, a scoop for sampling, and separation tubes to isolate individual samples.[3]


  1. ^ a b c Jeff Foust (25 September 2017). "Long March 5 failure to postpone China's lunar exploration program". SpaceNews. Retrieved 17 December 2017.
  2. ^ a b Andrew Jones (7 June 2017). "China confirms landing site for Chang'e-5 Moon sample return". GB Times. Retrieved 17 December 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Chang'e 5 test mission". 2017. Retrieved 17 December 2017.
  4. ^ "Chinese Long March Rocket successfully launches Lunar Return Demonstrator". Spaceflight101. Oct 23, 2014.
  5. ^ "China launches test return orbiter for lunar mission". Xinhuanet. Oct 24, 2014.