The Egyptian official welcomes the return of Chinese spaceships with moon samples

The recent safe return to Earth of the Chinese lunar probe Chang’e 5, which contains the world’s freshest lunar samples in 40 years, is considered a “great scientific achievement” for both China and space exploration, said the CEO of the Egyptian Space Agency ( EgSA). .

“China deserves to set its flag on the moon as a reward for completing such a massive scientific mission,” said EgSA boss Mohamed El-Koosy in a recent interview with Xinhua.

On Thursday, the Chang’e-5 mission returned to Earth with rock and soil samples from the moon. This was the first batch in 44 years since the Soviet Luna 24 probe in 1976.

“The event is important because there have been no successful attempts in the past 40 years to bring samples of lunar rocks back to Earth where many countries have tried and failed,” El-Koosy said.

He stated that making the Chinese spacecraft “soft landing” on the moon, staying there for two days and returning safely, was not an easy scientific task.

“The journey itself, which covered a distance of around 400,000 km, was also a very difficult mission that required such a high level of control,” he said.

“There is a global consensus that China has undoubtedly become a great space power,” said El-Koosy.

He noted that this was not China’s first successful aerospace activity and referred to the country’s previous successes in sending multifunctional satellites into orbit.

He also praised the serious work of the Chinese National Space Administration that led to such successes.

El-Koosy, who visited Beijing several times, welcomed the continued cooperation between Egypt and China in the aerospace sector, attributing this to the excellent relations between the two countries.

“The close ties led China to agree to a space technology grant to Egypt that will help Egypt set up a satellite assembly center,” El-Koosy told Xinhua.

China has already delivered all of the equipment necessary to build the Egyptian satellite assembly, integration and test center to Egypt, which El-Koosy says will be completed in mid-2021.

“After construction, Chinese experts will come to install and operate the equipment and train the Egyptian cadres,” he said.

In January 2019, China also approved a grant to build Egypt’s MisrSat II remote sensing satellite, the implementation phase of which began eight months later.

El-Koosy noted that the joint projects to build the assembly center and the remote sensing satellite are being carried out in parallel. After its completion, the satellite is to be assembled in the center and launched in September 2022 via a Chinese launch vehicle.