On Friday 15th of December, PoliSpace held a great event. We had the chance to connect with Dr Giuseppe Cataldo, who spoke about the Mars Sample Return Campaign. After the conference we could reach him and ask some more questions to know more about him and his life. You will know everything about the interview in our next article, but know let’s step back and see what MSR Campaign is.
Change’5: first lunar-sample return mission in almost 50 years
Humanity has not returned any samples from the moon for almost 5 decades, which was done by Soviet Union’s Luna 24. China’s recent ambitious mission of Chang’e 5, which takes its name from a Moon goddess from Chinese mythology, is to attain lunar sample return.
The stack weighing 8 metric ton, comprises eleven phases with multiple configurations. The spacecraft was scheduled to lift- off from Wenchang Space Launch Center in Hainan province on 24th of November, which was a success. The probe performed a soft landing and started collecting lunar samples via a sophisticated robotic mechanism. The craft picked up soil and rock samples, expected to weigh over 2 kgs, over the course of about 19 hours and then left Earth’s natural satellite. Before leaving the Moon, the craft planted a flag on the lunar surface, making China the second nation to leave its banner on it. The spacecraft, after docking with the lunar orbiter, is on route back to Earth and is expected to arrive later, in the middle of this month, where it would touchdown in inner Mongolia.
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