The ascender of China's Chang'e 5 probe departed from the lunar orbit under ground commands at 6:59 am and landed on the moon at 7:30 am Tuesday (Beijing Time), sources with the China National Space Administration said.
The ascender previously took off from the lunar surface and completed rendezvous and docking with the probe's orbiter-returner combination in the lunar orbit.
After transferring samples collected on the moon to the returner, the ascender separated from the orbiter-returner combination on Dec 6.
Tuesday's maneuver marks the completion of the ascender's mission, according to the space administration.
Deorbiting and moon landing of the spacecraft can prevent it from becoming space debris and affecting follow-up lunar missions of other countries, which is also an important commitment of China, as a responsible country, to the peaceful exploration and use of space by humankind, the administration said.
The Chang'e-5 probe, comprising an orbiter, a lander, an ascender and a returner, was launched on Nov 24.
China's flag photographed on moon
The China National Space Administration released a photograph on Friday showing the country's five-star red national flag on the moon with Chang'e 5 vehicle.
Developed by Xu Weilin and his team from Wuhan Textile University, it is hoped the fabric will help make the flag stand up to the moon's severe environmental conditions.
Using embedded composite spinning technology, the color of the fabric is designed to resist fading under strong ultraviolet light exposure and to withstand plus and minus 150 C temperature changes, Xu said.
The flag weighs just 12 grams, according to the administration's website.
It is the first time a fabric Chinese national flag has been to the moon. In December 2013 and January 2019, China's national flag was seen on the moon as an emblem on a spacecraft, according to China Global Television Network.
Source: Xinhua News Agency
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