China’s lunar probe Chang’e-5 successfully carried out its first orbital correction Tuesday night, according to the China National Space Administration (CNSA).
The probe conducted the orbital correction at 10:06 p.m. (Beijing Time) when its 3000N engine was operational for about two seconds, and then continued its trip to the moon.
Prior to the orbital correction, the lunar probe had traveled for roughly 17 hours in space, and was about 160,000 km away from Earth. All of the probe’s systems were in good condition, said the CNSA.
Orbital correction is necessary to ensure the probe follows its theoretical trajectory as closely as possible, said the CNSA.
China launched the lunar probe at 4:30 a.m. Tuesday to collect and return samples from the moon. It is the country’s first attempt to retrieve samples from an extraterrestrial body.