China’s Chang’e-6 Successfully Enters Lunar Orbit Following Near-Moon Braking Maneuver

China's Chang'e-6 Successfully Enters Lunar Orbit Following Near-Moon Braking Maneuver

Beijing, The Gulf Observer: The China National Space Administration (CNSA) announced on Wednesday that China’s Chang’e-6 lunar probe has successfully entered its circumlunar orbit, marking a significant milestone in the nation’s ambitious lunar exploration program. The probe executed a critical near-moon braking procedure at 10:12 a.m. (Beijing Time), effectively reducing its relative speed to below the moon’s escape velocity and facilitating its capture into a stable orbit around the moon.

During its flight, Chang’e-6 underwent meticulous maneuvers, including the near-moon braking procedure, which played a pivotal role in positioning the probe for its upcoming mission objectives. With communication relayed through the Queqiao-2 relay satellite, Chang’e-6 will proceed to fine-tune its orbit’s altitude and inclination in preparation for the next phase of its mission.

Subsequently, the mission will entail the separation of the orbiter-returner module from the lander-ascender module, facilitated by precise orbital adjustments. The lander-ascender combination will embark on a soft landing within the South Pole-Aitken Basin, situated on the far side of the moon—a strategically chosen location for the planned sampling and return mission.

China initiated the Chang’e-6 probe’s journey on May 3, marking the commencement of its weeks-long voyage to the moon. The successful entry into the planned circumlunar orbit signifies a significant achievement in China’s lunar exploration endeavors and sets the stage for groundbreaking scientific exploration on the far side of the moon.

One of the primary objectives of the Chang’e-6 mission is to collect and return two kilograms of samples from the far side of the moon—an unprecedented endeavor in human history. This ambitious mission builds upon China’s previous achievements, including the successful collection of samples from the near side of the moon during the Chang’e-5 mission in 2020, further solidifying China’s position as a leading player in lunar exploration and scientific discovery.