China Uncertain About Human Exploration Of The Moon - Chang'e 5 Lunar Mission Spokesperson
WENCHANG (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 24th November, 2020) China will determine the appropriate time to start working on a crewed mission to the Moon in accordance with its scientific and technical capabilities, a spokesperson of China's Chang'e 5 lunar return mission, said.
"Based on scientific needs, technical and economic conditions, we will consider the question of when to land a man on the Moon," Pei Zhaoyu, deputy director of the Lunar Exploration and Space Program Center of the China National Space Administration (CNSA) said at a press conference.
He added that "in the future, exploration of the Moon should be conducted jointly by man and machine."
Earlier, a Sputnik correspondent reported that the Chang'e 5 lunar mission was successfully launched from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Center in Wenchang, in China's Hainan island province, using the Chinese heavy-lift launch vehicle Chang Zheng 5 (Long March 5). The launch took place at 04:30 local time on Tuesday (20:30 GMT on Monday).
According to CNSA, the Chang Zheng 5 rocket successfully put the Chang'e 5 lunar research vehicle into the designated orbit about 2,200 seconds after the launch.
The Chang'e 5 lunar mission is China's first-ever sample return mission. If fully successful, it will become the first lunar sample return mission to be completed since 1976, when the Soviet Union carried out the Luna 24 robotic probe mission to the Moon.
The Soviet Union's Luna 2 was the first spacecraft to reach the surface of the Moon. Meanwhile, the United States remains the only country to have successfully conducted crewed lunar missions.
In August, Dmitry Rogozin, the head of Russian space agency Roscosmos, told Sputnik that he was going to start consultations with CNSA on a concept of a joint lunar base this fall. He added that other countries, such as the United States, may become equal partners in the project.