Scripting a history by becoming the third country in the world to complete its first return mission to moon, China on Saturday successfully carried the space mission with its unmanned orbiter and landed back on the Earth.
The top two record holders to accomplish the accolade about 40 years ago are the former Soviet Union and the United States. Soviet Union had last documented mission of this kind in the 1970s.
The test lunar orbiter grounded in Siziwang Banner at the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region of China in the early hours of Saturday after a week of its launch.
The Asian nation has taken the step forward for its ambitious space programme in order to test its ability to go to the lunar orbit and return back to Earth. The eight-day China’s space programme includes three-step– i.e. orbiting, landing and finally returning — lunar programme.
The search teams recovered the lunar orbiter at the designated landing site, which is about 500 kilometres away from the China’s capital city Beijing.
The lunar orbiter, which was launched on Friday last week for an eight-day mission, navigated through the space covering 840,000 kilometres to capture some of the incredible pictures of the moon and the Earth together.
According to the reports, the re-entry process of the lunar orbiter began at around 6:13 AM (local time) on Saturday morning. The orbiter was moving towards the Earth at a velocity of about 11.2 kilometres per second.
The scientists said that the high speed resulted in a lot of friction between the lunar orbiter, air and the high temperatures on the exterior of the spacecraft, which in turn generated an ion sheath that disconnected all contacts between ground command and the orbiter.
In order to slow down the high pace, the space engineers have designed the craft in such a way that it “bounce” off the edge of the atmosphere, before re-entering again.
Wu Yanhua, vice director of China’s State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence, said that the test mission was successful as it has collected a lot of incredible experimental data, laying the strong foundation for future missions.
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