China has hoisted its flag on the moon 50 years after it was hoisted there by US. A photo released by China’s National Space Administration shows a five-star red Chinese flag on the surface of the moon, where there is no wind at all.
These images are taken from the camera mounted on the robotic spacecraft Chang Five. The vehicle then left the moon on Thursday with samples of moon rocks. Flags could not be hoisted on the moon in two previous Chinese lunar missions.
The United States hoisted its first flag on the moon in 1969 during the Apollo 11 manned mission. In the subsequent missions, five flags were hoisted on the land of the moon until 1972.
In 2012, NASA said that all five flags were still visible in satellite images, but media reports suggested that the sun’s glare may have caused them to lose their color and they have turned white.
China’s state-run newspaper Global Times writes that the Chinese flag is a reminder of the excitement generated during the US Apollo missions.
Chang Five Moon’s soil and rock samples have been taken to China’s Lunar Orbiter, 15 kilometers above the moon’s surface, which will be enclosed in a module and dumped in the Mongolia region of China.
The Chinese flag made of cloth is 2 meters wide and 90 centimeters long and weighs one kilogram. Project leader Li Yunfeng told the Global Times that all parts of the flag have been given features that keep them safe even in cold temperatures.
Project developer Cheng Chang said, “No ordinary national flag used on Earth will be able to withstand the harsh atmosphere of the moon.”
The Chinese national flag was spotted during the first Chinese mission to the moon, Cheng Three, during which Lander and Rover posed for pictures. Chief Four Lander and Rover took the flag to the dark side of the moon in 2019.
In both cases, however, the flag was not made of cloth at the time.
The Chang Five mission is the seventh successful landing on the Chinese moon in the last seven years.