The Chang’e-5 orbiter-returner enters the Moon-Earth transfer orbit

Beijing, Dec 13 (IANS): The orbiter-return combination of China’s Chang’e-5 lunar probe made its second orbital maneuver on Sunday and entered the Moon-Earth transfer orbit, according to the China National Space Administration.

Four 150N engines in the orbiter-returner combination turned on when they were 230 km from the lunar surface and shut down after 22 minutes, the Xinhua news agency reported, citing the administration in a statement.

According to real-time monitoring data, the orbiter-returner combination successfully entered the target orbit.

Later, the combination of spacecraft carrying lunar samples will perform an orbital correction during its journey to Earth.

When the time is right, the orbiter and the returner will part ways, according to the administration.

The Chang’e-5, comprising an orbiter, a lander, an ascendant and a return, was launched on November 24.

Its orbiter-returner combination completed its first orbital maneuver on Saturday.