Chang’e 5 probe
Why in News?
- A Chinese lunar capsule has returned to Earth with the first fresh samples of rock and debris from the moon in more than 40 years.
Where it Landed?
- The capsule of the Chang’e 5 probe landed in the Siziwang district of the Inner Mongolia region.
- The capsule earlier separated from its orbiter module and performed a bounce off the Earth’s atmosphere to reduce its speed before passing through and floating to the ground on parachutes.
What it does?
- Two of the Chang’e 5’s four modules set down on the moon on December 1 and collected about 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds) of samples by scooping them from the surface and by drilling 2 metres (about 6 feet) into the moon’s crust.
- The samples were deposited in a sealed container that was carried back to the return module by an ascent vehicle.
- The successful mission was the latest breakthrough for China’s increasingly ambitious space programme that includes a robotic mission to Mars and plans for a permanent orbiting space station.
- Those rocks and debris are thought to be billions of years younger than those obtained by the U.S. and former Soviet Union, offering new insights into the history of the moon and other bodies in the solar system.
- They come from a part of the moon known as the Oceanus Procellarum, or Ocean of Storms, near a site called the Mons Rumker that was believed to have been volcanic in ancient times.