Chinese probe drills into the Moon
First Published Dec 2, 2020, 4:10 PM IST
China's lunar probe Chang'e-5 has reportedly completed drilling the Moon's surface and collected 2 kilograms of soil samples.
The China National Space Administration said that the spacecraft had sealed up soil samples obtained from beneath the Moon's surface, and is ready to continue collecting more samples from the surface.
The CNS informed that after making a soft landing yesterday around 8:45pm IST, the lander rolled out its solar panel wings and unlocked some of the payloads onboard to prepare for sample collection.
The lander first drilled a 2-meter-deep hole, digging out soil, and sealed it up at 4:53 a.m. on Wednesday. Next, it will use its robotic arms to scoop up more samples from the lunar surface for backup.
Luan Enjie, the chief commander of China's first lunar mission told China Central Television, said, "Samples have to be sealed up in case any contamination occurs during the course back to earth. The Moon environment is very different from the Earth. So samples need to be stored in a very clean container."
The sealed packages will be stored in the ascender, which will lift off from the Moon's surface to transfer the samples to the returner and orbiter waiting in lunar orbit. The returner will then separate from the orbiter and carry the samples back to Earth, finally landing at a spot in Mongolia.