China's Chang'e-6 enters lunar orbit

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | May 08, 2024 IST

Beijing, May 8: China's Chang'e-6 lunar probe has successfully entered its circumlunar orbit, the China National Space Administration (CNSA) said on Wednesday.

According to the CNSA, at 10:12 a.m. (local time) on Wednesday, Chang'e-6 successfully performed a near-moon braking procedure before entering the circumlunar orbit, Xinhua news agency reported.

The near-moon braking procedure is a key orbital control for Chang'e-6 during its flight. The braking makes its relative speed lower than the lunar escape velocity so that it can be captured by the Moon's gravity and fly around the Moon.

Supported by the Queqiao-2 relay satellite, Chang'e-6 will later adjust the altitude and inclination of the orbit around the Moon and choose a proper time to carry out the separation of the orbiter-returner combination and the lander-ascender combination.

Later, the lander-ascender combination will conduct a soft landing on the South Pole-Aitken Basin to carry out the sampling and return mission on the far side of the Moon as planned, the report said.

Chang'e-6 spacecraft lifted off to the Moon's far side on a Long March-5 rocket on May 3.

The spacecraft, comprising an orbiter, a lander, an ascender, and a returner, aims to become the first to collect and bring back samples from the far side of the lunar surface.


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