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Chang'e 5, 6 (CE 5, 6)

Chang'e 5 lander and ascent stage [NAOC]

Chang'e 5 is China's first lunar sample return mission.

The Chang'e 5 mission consists of four parts:

  • The orbiter stage, which provides lunar orbit insertion. It houses the return capsule and returns it to earth at the end of the mission.
  • The reentry module is a capsule designed for high-speed atmospheric reentry. A prototype has been tested on the Chang'e 5-T1 mission.
  • The lander stage, derived from the Chang'e 3 lander, lands on the lunar surface and will dig and collect a lunar sample from up to 2 meters below the surface. The sample is then transfered to the ascent stage on top of the lander. The lander will carry landing cameras, optical cameras, a mineral spectrometer, a soil gas analytical instrument, a soil composition analytical instrument, a sampling sectional thermodetector, and a robotic drilling rig.
  • The ascent stage lifts off with the samples and rendezvouses with the orbiter stage in lunar orbit, where the samples will be transfered to the reentry module.

The mission was to be launched in late 2017 on a CZ-5/YZ2 rocket from Wengchang, but it wwas delayed to 2019 due to the launch failure of the second CZ-5 rocket.

A second sample return mission, Chang'e 6 will be launched later.

Nation: China
Type / Application: Lunar lander and rover
Contractors: CAST
Propulsion: ?
Power: 2 deployable solar arrays, RTG, batteries (lander); 2 deployable solar arrays, batteries (rover)
Mass: 3780 kg (launch); 1200 kg (lander); 120 kg (rover)
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
Chang'e 5 (CE 5) - 2020 We LP-101 CZ-5/YZ2
Chang'e 6 (CE 6) - 20xx We LP-101 CZ-5/YZ2


  • CAST Website