Credit: CCTV/Inside Outer Space screengrab

Lunar samples brought back to Earth by China’s Chang’e-5 Moon mission are on display at the National Museum in Beijing.

The exhibit is dubbed “Lunar Sample 001, Witnessing China’s Flying Dream,” featuring a hundred grams of soil.

Exhibit also features the Chang’e-5 sample-carrying capsule.
Credit: CCTV/Inside Outer Space screengrab

Encased in crystal

According to China Central Television (CCTV) the sample is encased in a crystal container resembling a ritual Chinese wine vessel.

That display of Moon specimens stands 38.44 centimeters tall, a nod to the 384,400 kilometers that is the average distance between Earth and the Moon, and 22.89 centimeters wide for the 22.89 days that the Chang’e-5 lunar mission lasted, CCTV reports.

The inside of the container features a hollow sphere representing both the Moon and the Chang’e-5 return capsule that delivered a total of 1,731 grams of lunar samples to a safe touchdown on December 17, 2000. The sphere floats above a frosted dome symbolizing the Earth and a map of China.

Chinese President Xi met space scientists and engineers involved in the Chang’e-5 lunar mission at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Xi inspected specimens from the Moon brought back by the return sample mission.
Credit: CCTV/Inside Outer Space screengrab

Prior to public display of the lunar collectibles, Chinese President Xi Jinping met space scientists and engineers involved in the research and development of the Chang’e-5 lunar mission at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Xi inspected specimens from the Moon brought back by the return sample mission.

 

Lunar soil color

“The color of lunar soil is different from that of the Earth soil. It’s charcoal gray, or to be exact, it’s darker. And it also has a peculiar look,” explains Wu Hualiang, from the museum’s exhibit collection and appraisal department.

“Because of gravity, everything on Earth is pulled downward, but the particles of the lunar soil cling onto the side of the container like there is zero gravity. It gives people the feeling of being in outer space,” Wu told CCTV.

Chang’e-5 descent stage seen just before sunset on February 7, 2021.
Credit: NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University

Ocean of Storms

The Chang’e-5 mission to the Moon comprised an orbiter, a lander, an ascender and a returner.

Launched on November 24, 2000, the spacecraft’s lander-ascender combination touched down December 1st on the north of Mons Rümker in Oceanus Procellarum, also known as the Ocean of Storms, on the near side of the Moon.

 

 

Go to this CCTV video regarding the display of lunar samples at:

https://youtu.be/dMMGT947W0w

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