A Chinese probe is expected to land on the moon soon. (Archive image: Key)
The landing of a Chinese probe to collect rock samples on the moon is getting closer. For the first time in 44 years.
The landing and ascent module separated on Monday morning from the spacecraft named after the Chinese moon goddess “Chang’e 5” in the orbit of the moon, as the Chinese state broadcaster CGTN reported. The next step is the soft landing on the moon.
A possible date or time when the landing should take place exactly was not given. Some US experts had previously assumed a landing early Monday morning. According to other estimates, the landing should not take place until Tuesday or Wednesday.
First rock samples in 44 years
The aim of the Chinese mission is to bring rock samples back to earth for the first time in 44 years. Before that, only the USA and the Soviet Union had succeeded. “Chang’e 5” was launched on November 23rd from the space station in Wenchang on the southern Chinese island of Hainan. After collecting the samples, the return journey to earth is due.