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Chang’e-5 completes second orbital correction on moon-Earth transfer orbit

Image released by the China National Space Administration (CNSA) shows the orbiter-returner combination of China's Chang'e-5 probe approaching the ascender, Dec. 6, 2020. (CNSA/Handout via Xinhua)

  Image released by the China National Space Administration (CNSA) shows the orbiter-returner combination of China's Chang'e-5 probe approaching the ascender, Dec. 6, 2020. (CNSA/Handout via Xinhua)

China’s Chang’e-5 probe completed its second orbital correction on the moon-Earth transfer orbit Wednesday morning, according to the China National Space Administration (CNSA).

The orbital correction was conducted at 9:15 a.m. (Beijing Time) when the two 25N engines on the orbiter-returner combination were operational for about eight seconds.

The CNSA said all systems on the orbiter-returner combination are currently in good condition.

The orbiter-returner combination entered the moon-Earth transfer orbit on Sunday and completed its first orbital correction on Monday.

The orbiter and returner will separate from one another at the appropriate time, according to the CNSA. The returner is expected to land at the Siziwang Banner in north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

Meanwhile, the preset landing site in Siziwang Banner is ready for the homecoming, the mission’s search and retrieval team said Tuesday

Chang’e-5 is one of the most complicated and challenging missions in China’s aerospace history. It is also the world’s first moon-sample mission in more than 40 years.

The Chang’e-5 probe, comprising an orbiter, a lander, an ascender and a returner, was launched on Nov. 24, and its lander-ascender combination touched down on the north of the Mons Rumker in Oceanus Procellarum, also known as the Ocean of Storms, on the near side of the moon on Dec. 1.

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