By Tony Winterburn • 05 December 2020 • 20:30
Chinese Plants National Flag On The Moon’s Surface.
China has planted a flag on the moon, said state-run media, following the country’s trip to the lunar surface this week. An image released by China’s National Space Administration apparently shows the Chinese national flag on the moon’s surface. The state-run Global Times newspaper said the photo was taken on board the Chang’e-5 lander vehicle before the ascender took off from the moon. The Chinese news outlet said the spacecraft “unfolded the five-star red national flag, a genuine one made from fabrics.”
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying also shared images of the national flag on the moon. Two previous Chinese lunar missions had flags on the crafts’ coatings, the Global Times noted, rather than actual flags on poles. The Chinese flag was first seen on the moon during the country’s inaugural lunar mission, Chang’e-3, in 2013, the newspaper noted. In 2019, the Chang’e-4 lander and rover brought the flag to an unvisited part of the moon.
Project leader Li Yunfeng told the Global Times that the system used to erect the flag was given features such as protection from drastic temperature differences. “An ordinary national flag on Earth would not survive the severe lunar environment,” Cheng Chang, a project developer, told the state-run newspaper.
Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA Associate Administrator, congratulated China on its lunar landing earlier this week. “This is no easy task. When the samples collected on the Moon are returned to Earth, we hope everyone will benefit from being able to study this precious cargo that could advance the international science community,” he tweeted.
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