A glimpse into China’s readiness to handle samples from the moon reveals steps to be taken for storage, processing and preparation of the specimens.
China’s Chang’e 5 robotic moon mission is scheduled to launch later this year. That venture represents the third phase of China’s Chang’e lunar exploration program: returning samples from the moon.
The reported candidate landing region for Chang’e 5 is the Rümker region, located in the northern Oceanus Procellarum (“Ocean of Storms”). The area is geologically complex and known for its volcanic activity.
The Chang’e 5 mission has four main parts: an orbiter, ascender, lander and Earth reentry module, which will contain up to 4.4 lbs. (2 kilograms) of lunar surface and subsurface samples.