Chang’e-5 lunar lander flag system.
Credit: CCTV


Before China’s Chang’e-5 ascender blasted off into Moon orbit today, a five-star red flag was deployed on the Moon’s surface.

According to China Central Television (CCTV) this is the first time that China has realized the “independent display” of the five-star red flag on the lunar landscape.  

The five-star red flag weighs only 1 kilogram and can still “maintain its true colors” under a temperature difference of plus or minus 150 degrees Celsius.


“Fabric version”

A lunar flag display system consisted of three parts: the lunar flag, the compression release device, and a small pyrotechnic deployment mechanism – and is about half a meter long.

Unlike the five-star red flag on China’s earlier lunar vehicles — Chang’e-3, Chang’e-4, and Yutu lunar rover that used spraying methods — the “fabric version” of the five-star red flag on Chang’e-5 is a real flag.

China’s Chang’e-4 lander with China flag sprayed on.

The five-star red flag that unfolded in the form of a scroll is relatively flat and was designed to be wrinkle-proof.

The scientific research team spent more than a year in selecting materials, and finally selected 20 or 30 fiber materials. A new type of composite material was chosen so that the five-star red flag can withstand the harsh environment of the Moon and does not fade, color, or deform.

“Although this is just a thin five-star red flag, it has a very high technological content,” said Ma Wei, the commander of the five-star red flag display system project, according to CCTV.

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