Chang’e 5 lunar mission a great leap for China’s space dreams

Enamul Hassan – People’s Daily

When the Communist Party of China (CPC) established the People’s Republic of China (PRC) on October 1, 1949, the condition was not as it seems now in China. Many people did not have enough food or clothes, let alone medicare and education. One of the poorest countries in the world, the Chinese were lucky to have the CPC to govern their country.

The successive leadership of the Party have since been leading China towards sustainable development, peace and prosperity. During the last seven decades, the Party made China the second-largest economy of the world, lifting more than 700 million people out of poverty and eradicating absolute poverty from the country for the first time in history. The Party has now set off the journey to turn China into a modern socialist country by 2049, the centenary of foundation of the PRC.

Alongside achieving tremendous success in its socio-economic front, the CPC has diversified its development programs and endeavors to other sectors. The Party has walked a long way to achieve remarkable development in education, science, technologies and space science, to name a few. Under its prudent leadership, China has become a pioneer in a variety of sectors for the rest of the world.

The moon exploration program of China is the epitome of its diversified and startling development. With one success after another in lunar exploration, drawing global attention, China has successfully carried out the three-phase lunar probe mission with Chang’e 5 returning to earth with lunar samples on December 17.

Chang’e 5, the robotic mission of the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program, is the first lunar sample-return mission since 1976. The mission makes China the third country to return samples from the moon after the US and the former Soviet Union. The mission has brought China closer to realization of its final goal of moon exploration.

In the first phase, China had to first succeed in reaching lunar orbit by Chang’e 1 in 2007 and Chang’e 2 in 2010. In the second phase, its probes Chang’e 3 and Chang’e 4 respectively landed and wandered over the moon in 2013 and 2018. Chang’e 5 has successfully finished the beginning of the third phase of collecting lunar samples from the moon, returning them to earth.
With the historic successes achieved by Chang’e 5, China is really over the moon and thinks the achievement is a great leap for its lunar and space dreams. The country is upbeat to complete its next phase in the lunar exploration program by putting a man on the moon.

Gaining great inspirations from the successful mission, the China National Space Administration (CNSA) has already declared that the country plans to launch four manned spacecrafts as part of its space station construction program in the next two years. China’s manned space program will be very busy in 2021 and 2022.

A total of 11 missions to build China’s space station are planned for the next two years, including the construction of the core module that is scheduled to be launched in the first half of next year, two lab capsules, as well as four manned craft and four cargo crafts.

A large number of in-orbit scientific experiments will then be carried out on the space station. Earlier, the China Manned Space Agency announced that the country’s manned space program had entered the mission preparation stage with a selection of 18 new reserve astronauts.

Not only has Chang’e 5 proved China’s capabilities, scientific and technological advancement before the world, but it has also shown that no matter how far China goes into space, it will always stays true to its original target — unveiling the secrets of the universe and contributing to humanity’s peaceful use of space.

The author is a Bangladeshi journalist and columnist now based in Beijing, China.