China’s Chang’e-6 Brakes Close to the Moon and Enters Lunar Orbit

China’s Chang’e-6 Brakes Close to the Moon and Enters Lunar Orbit

The China National Space Administration (CNSA) announced on Wednesday that China’s Chang’e-6 lunar probe has reached its circumlunar orbit. The probe also mentioned that it executed a near-moon braking operation at 10:12 a.m. (Beijing Time) prior to entering the intended orbit.

Chang’e-6 performed a crucial maneuver known as a near-moon braking method while in flight. By doing this, the probe’s relative speed was lowered to below the moon’s escape velocity, which made it possible for lunar gravity to pull it into a stable orbit.

After communication is relayed by the Queqiao-2 relay satellite, Chang’e-6 will modify the height and inclination of its orbit. The mission will start the process of separating the lander-ascender module from the orbiter-returner module once ideal circumstances are reached. After making a soft landing in the South Pole-Aitken Basin, the lander-ascender combo will carry out the scheduled mission of sampling and returning from the moon’s far side.

After being launched by China on May 3, the Chang’e-6 probe has officially entered its intended orbit and is continuing its weeks-long trek to the moon.

Two kilograms of samples from the moon’s far side are anticipated to be returned by the probe, marking the first such mission in human history. China’s Chang’e-5 mission in 2020 included the collection of samples from the near side of the moon.

Sanchita Patil

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