China's lunar probe tester ready for Chang'e 5 mission
Source: CRIENGLISH Updated: 2014-08-11
A test lunar lander for China's Chang'e-5 has arrived at Xichang, southwest China's Sichuan Province, to prepare for the last phase of China's lunar exploration program.
The launch will take place before the end of this year as a rehearsal for the upcoming Chang'e-5 mission.
The tester is to verify mainly its capability of returning to the earth at escape velocity, or 11.2 kilometers per second.
Ye Peijian is a senior adviser of the China Academy of Space Technology.
"Firstly, it requires an initial velocity from the carrier, and secondly, it can be accelerated by the spacecraft's own fuel. There are many other ways to do it as well, such as taking advantage of the gravity of other planets. In a word, they can achieve such velocity by combining both external and internal forces."
China's lunar program entered its last phase after the Chang'e-3 probe completed its second phase mission by soft-landing on the moon on Dec. 14 last year, with the country's first moon rover Yutu aboard.
The more sophisticated Chang'e-5 mission, including unmanned sampling and returning, will be launched some time around 2017.