How China’s Chang’e 5 could take giant leap for world’s space missions

How China’s Chang’e 5 could take giant leap for world’s space missions

When China’s Chang’e 5 mission probe lands on the moon in a few days, scientists from mission control will look for “gems” and bring them back to the Earth – with the help of samplers developed by Hong Kong-based engineers.

“In sampling on the moon surface, the most valuable are those special rocks,” Professor Yung Kai-leung of Hong Kong Polytechnic University said. “The composition of the surface dust is more or less the same, but the rocks are different – they have much higher scientific value.”

“We will use our system’s near-field cameras for vision guidance in selecting samples that we are interested in,” said Yung.

The samplers and container developed by Yung’s team at Hong Kong Polytechnic University are at the core of the Chang’e 5 mission to sample lunar rocks and soil – the first attempt by any country in more than 40 years since mankind’s last lunar mission in 1976. It is the most ambitious mission of China’s lunar programme.