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New lunar mission to test Chang'e-5 technology  


国防科工局今天宣布,我国探月工程计划于10月24日-26日首次实施再入返回飞行试验。即在西昌卫星发射中心发射一颗飞行试验器,飞抵月球附近后自动返回,以接近第二宇宙速度进入大气层,经跳跃式弹起后,再次进入大气层,并在内蒙古中部着陆。 [查看全文]
2014-10-22 15:05 Xinhua Web Editor: Mo Hong'e

China will launch a new lunar mission this week to test technology likely to be used in Chang'e-5, a future lunar probe with the ability to return to Earth.

The experimental spacecraft launched this week is expected to reach a location near the moon and return to Earth, according to a source with the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense on Wednesday.

The test model is currently in normal condition and is scheduled to launch between Friday and Sunday from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center.

The mission will involve the spacecraft entering, exiting, and re-entering the Earth's atmosphere and landing on Earth, the source said.

During this process, the spacecraft's speed will be slowed down so it can land safely at a determined location, a key capability needed for Chang'e-5, which may return from the moon at a very high speed, according to the scientists' explanation.

The Chang'e-5 probe, expected to launch in 2017, will be tasked with landing on the moon, collecting samples and returning to Earth.

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