Chang'e-5's lander-ascender and return vehicle successfully separated - CGTN
Chang'e-5's lander-ascender combination and the orbiter-sample return vehicle combination of the probe have successfully separated in preparation for landing on the moon. All the systems are in good condition, and the communication for ground measurement and control works well. The combination of the orbiter and the sample-return vehicle will remain flying on the lunar orbit.
Could the moon help to fuel Earth? - CGTN
The moon could provide a green source of energy for Earth - helium-3.
Fossil fuels have been powering Earth for more than 200 years but reserves of coal, crude oil and natural gas are expected to run out by the end of the century. As reserves begin to run down the urgency to find replacements is intensifying but the long-term solution may lie hundreds of thousands of kilometers away on the moon. It contains large quantities of helium-3, a form of gas that could potentially be extracted, brought back to Earth and used as fuel without damaging the environment. CLICK: FIND OUT WHY THE BANKING SECTOR THINKS VR CAN IMPROVE PERFORMANCE FOR REMOTE WORKERS "The real attraction of the helium-3 is that it's a nuclear process, which, of course, doesn't release any greenhouse gases and so forth," University of Wisconsin engineering professor Gerald Kulcinski told CGTN. "That, I think, would be the biggest advantage - nuclear power without nuclear waste, which would be a goal for the Earth, for hundreds of thousands of years." Present on Earth in small quantities, helium-3 is already used in medical diagnostics that help to detect cancers, but it is yet to be utilized as a source of energy. However, it is available in large enough quantities on the moon to potentially power Earth for hundreds of years and provide enough time to then find additional ways of fueling the planet. The moon has large quantities of helium-3, a gas that could potentially be extracted, brought back to Earth and used as fuel. /AFP The moon has large quantities of helium-3, a gas that could potentially be extracted, brought back to Earth and used as fuel. /AFP "The United States has about 30 kilograms of helium-3," Kulcinski continued. "The 30 kilograms, though, can be compared to the amount that's deposited on the moon from the solar wind, which is about a million metric tonnes. "That amount of helium-3 is enough to power the Earth for a thousand years or so and provide all of the energy that the Earth would need." But bringing helium-3 back to Earth is a complex process. The gas, found in the moon's soil, would need to be heated to 600 degrees Celsius before being extracted and transported back to be converted into fuel in nuclear power plants. Even so, the project is beginning to interest some of the world's leading nations in the environmental and economic potential of helium-3. China's Chang'e-5 lunar space mission will collect lunar soil samples and potentially analyze helium-3 in closer detail. /AFP China's Chang'e-5 lunar space mission will collect lunar soil samples and potentially analyze helium-3 in closer detail. /AFP On Monday, China launched its Chang'e-5 lunar space mission, a 23-day operation that aims to bring back lunar material from the moon to understand more about the planet's origins and formation. "Now there seems to be another wave of interest of going to the moon, both by the United States and China and there may be other countries as well," said Kulcinski. "And most of these programs have, as part of their goal, harvesting helium-3 for terrestrial use. "I'm not sure I'll see it in my lifetime, but I'm sure that my children or grandchildren will see that. And that will be the ultimate use of helium-3. Energy would be the the big pot of gold at the end of the rainbow if we could make that work." ANIMATION: Could lunar soil save the Earth? READ MORE: China's Chang'e-5 lunar probe prepares to land
China's Chang'e-5 lunar probe conducts 2nd braking, prepares to land - CGTN
China's Chang'e-5 lunar probe successfully completed its second braking at 8:23 p.m. Sunday (BJT), entering a circular lunar orbit 200 kilometers above the moon and getting ready for the landing operation.
China's Chang'e-5 lunar probe successfully completed its second braking at 8:23 p.m. Sunday (BJT), entering a circular lunar orbit 200 kilometers above the moon and getting ready for the landing operation, according to the Lunar Exploration and Space Program Center of China National Space Administration (CNSA). This follows its first braking one day earlier, which took place at a position about 400 kilometers above the moon and enabled it to be captured by the moon's gravitational field and fly in an elliptical lunar orbit. Read more: China's Chang'e-5 lunar probe successfully brakes for lunar orbiting The second braking brings it closer to the moon. Over the next week, the probe, composed of four parts the orbiter, lander, ascender and Earth re-entry module will perform multiple complicated tasks on a tight schedule. The four parts will separate into two pairs. The lander and ascender will head to the moon and collect samples, while the orbiter and Earth re-entry module will continue to fly around the moon and adjust to a designated orbit, getting ready for the docking with the ascender. The landing operation is expected in three days. Once touched down on the lunar surface, the lander will collect two kilograms of lunar sample. It will shovel some surface material, drill a two-meter-deep hole and extract the soil from inside it, which will act as an archive of the moon, with the bottom recording information from a billion years ago, and the top more closely reflecting the present day. Once the samples are secured, the ascender will take off from the lunar surface to transfer the moon samples to the re-entry capsule waiting in lunar orbit, which will then carry them back to earth. The sampling work and the take-off of the ascender from the lunar surface need to be completed within 48 hours, according to Liu Jiangang, chief of the command team in Beijing. Read more: China's Chang'e-5 moon mission explained in graphics This is China's first sample return mission and one of its most complicated and difficult space tasks by far. Only two other countries, the U.S. and the former Soviet Union, have brought samples back from the moon. If everything goes smoothly, it would be the world's first unmanned sample return in 40 years. Launched at 4:30 a.m. on Tuesday, the Chang'e-5 probe has flown for five days. It completed orbital corrections on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, so as to keep on the right track. Read more: China successfully launches Chang'e-5 to collect moon samples China's Chang'e-5 probe completes second orbital correction (CGTN's Geng Xiuhui also contributed to the story.)
Japan spacecraft carrying asteroid soil samples nears Earth - CGTN
A Japanese spacecraft is nearing Earth after a yearlong journey home from a distant asteroid with soil samples and data that could provide clues to the origins of the solar system, a space agency official said Friday. The Hayabusa2 spacecraft left the asteroid Ryugu, about 300 million kilometers (180 million miles) from Earth, a year ago and is expected to reach Earth and drop a capsule containing the precious samples in southern Australia on December 6. Scientists at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency believe the samples, especially those taken from under the asteroid's surface, contain valuable data unaffected by space radiation and other environmental factors. Makoto Yoshikawa, a Hayabusa2 project mission manager, said scientists are especially interested in analyzing organic materials in the Ryugu soil samples. "Organic materials are origins of life on Earth, but we still don't know where they came from," Yoshikawa said. "We are hoping to find clues to the origin of life on Earth by analyzing details of the organic materials brought back by Hayabusa2." JAXA, the space agency, plans to drop the capsule containing the samples onto a remote, sparsely populated area in Australia from 220,000 kilometers (136,700 miles) away in space, a big challenge requiring precision control. The capsule, protected by a heat shield, will turn into a fireball during re-entry in the atmosphere at 200 kilometers (125 miles) above ground. At about 10 kilometers (6 miles) above ground, a parachute will open to prepare for landing, and beacon signals will be transmitted to indicate its location. JAXA staff have set up satellite dishes at several locations in the target area to catch the signals, while also preparing marine radar, drones and helicopters to assist in the search and retrieval mission. Without those measures, a search for the pan-shaped capsule with a diameter of 40 centimeters (15 inches) "would be an extremely difficult," Yoshikawa told reporters. For Hayabusa2, it's not the end of the mission it started in 2014. After dropping the capsule, it will return to space and head to another distant small asteroid called 1998KY26 on a journey slated to take 10 years. Hayabusa2 touched down on Ryugu twice, despite its extremely rocky surface, and successfully collected data and samples during the 1.5 years after it arrived there in June 2018. In the first touchdown in February 2019, it collected surface dust samples. In July, it collected underground samples from the asteroid for the first time in space history after landing in a crater that it had earlier created by blasting the asteroid's surface. Scientists said there are traces of carbon and organic matter in the asteroid soil samples. JAXA hopes to find clues to how the materials are distributed in the solar system and are related to life on Earth. Asteroids, which orbit the sun but are much smaller than planets, are among the oldest objects in the solar system and therefore may help explain how Earth evolved. It took the spacecraft 3.5 years to arrive at Ryugu, but the journey home was much shorter because of the current locations of Ryugu and Earth. Ryugu in Japanese means "Dragon Palace," the name of a sea-bottom castle in a Japanese folk tale. (Cover image: A computer graphics image shows the Hayabusa2 spacecraft above the asteroid Ryugu. /AP)
China's 'flawless' space launch could help ease tension between nations - CGTN
James Head, a veteran of NASA's Apollo program, says the country's lunar mission could bring greater collaboration with other major space powers.
China's groundbreaking mission to collect samples from the moon could be a step towards helping ease discord on Earth, a veteran of NASA's Apollo program has predicted. James Head, who helped to select landing sites for U.S. missions, said the mission could pave the way for manned journeys in future and therefore greater collaboration with other major space powers. "All of these things help to defuse tense international situations," Head said, citing the joint work by Russians and Americans on board the International Space Station. The Chang'e-5 mission, named after the ancient Chinese goddess of the moon, blasted off on Tuesday from the Wenchang Spacecraft launch site on the southern island of Hainan. Its mission is to land a module on the moon to collect samples of rock and dust before returning them to Earth. Only two other countries, the U.S. and the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), have retrieved lunar samples. Head, who is a professor of geological sciences at Brown University, said the mission had been "flawless" so far but had many challenges ahead. After landing on the moon, the probe will need to drill into the ground and scoop up samples before returning to orbit to dock with the main craft and transfer its cargo. "This is great practice for China, in terms of these operations, for sending humans to the moon, because all of these maneuvers will have to be done by human spacecraft," Head said.
On Chang'e-5 mission day, looking back on Xi's key quotes on China's space dream - CGTN
China launched the Chang'e-5 lunar probe from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site in the southern province of Hainan on Tuesday. From Chang'e-1 to Chang'e 5, aerospace workers have not only shown a relentless spirit in their pursuit of space exploration, but …
China launched the Chang'e-5 lunar probe from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site in the southern province of Hainan on Tuesday. With the China National Space Administration (CNSA) announcing that the spacecraft has been sent into the designated orbit, China's fifth lunar exploration has officially started. The mission, named after the ancient Chinese goddess of the moon, aims to collect lunar material to help scientists understand more about the moon's origins and formation. From Chang'e-1 to Chang'e-5, aerospace workers have not only shown a relentless spirit in their pursuit of space exploration, but also self-reliance and innovation. An endless dream-pursuing process Just as the name of China's carrier rocket, "Long March," China's history of space exploration has also been a long march. "There is no end for space exploration," the words of Chinese President Xi Jinping signal China's determination to develop space programs and become an aerospace power. The successful launch of "Dongfanghong-1" set the first milestone. It was April 24, 1970, when China launched its first man-made space satellite, making the country the fifth in the world to develop and launch a man-made satellite on its own. The launch marked the beginning of the nation's exploration of the universe and its peaceful use of outer space. Due to its profound influence, since 2016, the launch day became China's Space Day. As Xi said in his letter to scientists involved in the Dongfanghong-1 satellite mission, the extraordinary achievements created by the scientists and space engineers through hard work made the people of all ethnic groups proud of and demonstrated the spirit of self-improvement of the Chinese nation. Motivated by China's space dream, China successfully launched the first manned spacecraft Shenzhou-5 on October 15, 2003, making the country the third to possess the capability of sending humans into space independently. The achievement was recognized as a historic step taken by the Chinese people in their endeavor to surmount the peak of the world's science and technology. China's exploration of the moon started in 2007. With the successful launch of un-manned lunar orbiter Chang'e-1, the country became the fifth nation to orbit the moon. Carrying on the sound momentum, China set a new milestone in 2013 after the Chang'e-3 lunar probe "Yutu" soft-landed on the moon, making the country the third to carry out such a mission. Xi hailed the mission by saying it marked the moment China's space technology reached an international advanced level. "As we made the lunar rover 'Yutu' lay its prints on the moon, we also imprinted the extraordinary creativity of the Chinese nation onto the history of the human civilization," he said. China's achievement on lunar exploration was renewed again in 2019 after the complete success of Chang'e-4 mission which marks the first-ever soft landing, patrol and exploration on the far side of the moon by a spacecraft, the first communication link between Earth and the far side of the moon and the first footprints there in the history of lunar exploration. China launched the Chang'e-5 lunar probe from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site in Hainan, November 24, 2020. /CFP China launched the Chang'e-5 lunar probe from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site in Hainan, November 24, 2020. /CFP A path to self-reliance and independent innovation From the launch of China's first man-made space satellite "Dongfanghong-1" to the Chang'e-5 lunar probe, these 50 years have witnessed how China is striving to pursue its dream of "flying into the sky and reaching for the moon." "Self-reliance" and "innovation" are the two key words that resonate throughout China's aerospace industry development history. Xi regarded the unyielding spirit of self-reliance as the source of power that drives the Chinese nation to strive for China's space dream as well as the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. "No matter how the conditions change, the spirit of self-reliance and hard work should not be lost," said the Chinese president when recalling the arduous conditions the elder generation of scientists faced at the beginning of this process. In his letter to scientists involved in Dongfanghong-1 satellite mission, he urged the younger generations to follow the example set by the elder scientists to bravely overcome difficulties and obstacles to further develop space science and technology. Innovation is another indispensable value in China's aerospace industry since scientific and technological strength lays the foundation for space exploration, while the success China has achieved in space science can in turn encourage Chinese people's confidence in innovation. Xi also placed high expectations on innovation. By calling it "the soul of a people and the source for a country's prosperity," he wished the Chinese nation can work towards a brighter future through consistent innovation. With the Chang'e-5 mission already underway, it is expected that China will take bigger strides to further explore space and bring more Chinese wisdom, solutions and force to the peaceful use of space and the building of a community with a shared future for humanity.
Live: China launches Chang'e-5 lunar mission with Long March-5 rocket - CGTN
China launches its Chang'e-5 probe at Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site in southern Hainan Province.
China launches its Chang'e-5 probe at Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site in southern Hainan Province. This is China's sixth lunar mission. The goal is to collect and bring back lunar soil and rock samples, making China the first nation in the world to collect such samples in over 40 years. But what's the craft itself like? And what challenges does the mission face? Join CGTN's special coverage on the lunar mission.
Sentinel-6 satellite takes off - CGTN
The Sentinel-6 satellite took off from a U.S. air force base in California today. See how this U.S.-European satellite will play a vital role in measuring the world's oceans to help people deal with climate change. Also, see how the satellite's transporter the Space-X Falcon 9 rocket booster returned to earth for later reuse. Check out The China Report, our new weekly newsletter. Subscribe here!
Tech Breakdown: How far has China gone in its lunar exploration plan? - CGTN
With its first-ever landing on the far side of the Moon last year, China's Chang'e-4 lunar probe opened a new chapter of lunar exploration. Next up is the Chang'e-5 mission, which is expected to launch this month. But before that, let's review China's lunar exploration program.
Global Business Daily: Huawei sells Honor brand, vaccine news boosts flight bookings - CGTN
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"Huawei's consumer business has been under tremendous pressure as of late. This has been due to a persistent unavailability of technical elements needed for our mobile phone business." That was the reason tech giant Huawei gave for its decision to sell all business assets related to its low-cost mobile phone brand, Honor. Huawei signed the deal with Shenzhen Zhixin New Information Technology and added in its statement that "this move has been made by Honor's industry chain to ensure its own survival." Another company feeling the pinch, albeit in a different industry, is low-cost airline easyJet, which has rather unsurprisingly reported its first annual loss in its 25-year history due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But in an effort to remain optimistic, the airline has said it has high hopes for the near future, as news of recent vaccine discoveries has already boosted flight bookings. In other news, leaders of the BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) virtually gathered today for the 12th BRICS summit and called for further cooperation in trade and investment, the fight against COVID-19 and terrorism, as well as environmental protection. Scroll down to read our interview with Jim O'Neill, the economist who first coined the term BRICs becoming BRICS to include South Africa in 2010 for more on the significance of this emerging-markets bloc. While you're there, take a look at today's graphic which breaks down some of the numbers around the Asia-Pacific Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) free trade deal, mentioned in yesterday's newsletter. Enjoy reading, Arij Limam Digital correspondent P.S. Did someone forward this to you? Sign up here Chinese tech giant, and the world's second-biggest smartphone maker, Huawei, is selling its low-cost smartphone brand Honor to a consortium of more than 30 agents and dealers in a bid to keep it alive, the company and the consortium have said. The deal comes after U.S. government sanctions have restricted supplies to the Chinese company on the grounds that it is a national security threat which it denies. For the first time in its 25-year history, low-cost airline easyJet has reported an annual loss of £1.27bn ($1.68 billion) as revenues more than halved due to the impact of COVID-19 on the travel industry. But in a brief respite, easyJet said its bookings jumped by 50 percent on the day there was positive news about a coronavirus vaccine. Germany's finance minister Olaf Scholz has said his government's coronavirus aid package to compensate firms affected by lockdown measures in November will amount to roughly 14 billion euros ($16.6 billion). As part of the new round of relief measures, companies can get up to $238,000 a month to cover fixed costs such as rent, while solo entrepreneurs can get up to $6,000. The UK and the U.S. have signed a deal allowing the two countries to continue existing operations as they did under the EU-U.S. open skies deal, as the UK prepares for the end of its transition period with the European Union. Before COVID-19, tens of millions of passengers a year traveled between the countries, contributing to a trading relationship with the U.S. worth more than $305 billion, the UK's Department for Transport said in a statement. German car maker Daimler will cooperate with China's Geely auto company to build its next generation of engines, German business newspaper Handelsblatt has reported, citing company and industry sources. The paper reported that most of the engines will be made in China and that the Daimler-Geely pact would save the German car maker an amount anywhere between 100 million euros ($119 million) to less than a billion. U.S. e-commerce giant Amazon is expanding into yet another industry with its launch of an online pharmacy for delivering prescription medications in the U.S., increasing competition with drug retailers such as Walgreens, CVS and Walmart. German biotech firm CureVac is building a broad European network with partners to allow it to ramp up manufacturing of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine so it can produce up to 300 million doses in 2021 and up to 600 million in 2022. The company said it wants to build the network using expertise and capacity in Germany, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and Austria, plus potentially Sweden, Poland, Italy and Ireland. It expects to announce partnerships in the coming weeks. U.S. billionaire Elon Musk's personal fortune increased by more than $15 billion as shares of his company, Tesla, rose 11 percent on Tuesday following news it had been accepted into the S&P 500, a major U.S. stock market index, adding around $40 billion to the value of the electric car maker. CLICK: THE FUTURE OF A FRENCH CITY HANGS IN THE BALANCE AS EU/UK TRADE TALKS RUMBLE ON WATCH: COVID-19 was probably already circulating in Italy by September 2019, according to scientists at Milan's National Cancer Institute (INT), months before the virus was first documented in the Chinese city of Wuhan. Economist Jim O'Neill devised the acronym BRICs (later BRICS) to describe the group of major emerging economies. He spoke to CGTN as those nationsmet (virtually) for their annual summit. How different is the BRICS group of economies from 20 years ago? Economically, BRICS is increasingly dominated by the role of China. China is twice the size of all the other four BRICS countries put together. And that's partly because China has done by-and-large so well over the whole of those years, but also reflects that some of the others, particularly Brazil, Russia and South Africa, have done so poorly. What is the significance of BRICS for the rest of the world? Statistically, the BRICS group collectively are about close to four times bigger than they were 19 years ago, but that's because of just two of them, China and India. South Africa is actually slightly smaller than 19 years ago. And remarkably for Brazil and Russia, after having a very good first decade where their share of global GDP rose notably, today, they are both back, similar to the share of global GDP they had when I created the acronym. What is your reaction to the China-India challenges? It's a shame because, given the population size of India and China and given India's dynamics of its population, if India and China truly cooperated, the potential positive consequences just between those two would be enough to have a huge impact on both countries and the world economy. What does the post-pandemic future look like for BRICS? So, because of the importance of the vaccine discovery, I actually personally believe that in 2021 we're going to have a very strong economic expansion around the world. And probably those countries that have suffered most, once, importantly, they get to using a vaccine there's a big difference between discovering vaccines and vaccination but once they do, this is going to be really important for causing their growth to rebound sharply.