September 21, 2021

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Hong Kong leader urges people to stay home as cases rise:

2 min read
Hong Kong leader urges people to stay home as cases rise

Plans call for the robot lander to drill into the lunar surface and load 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds) of rocks and debris into an ascent stage that will blast off to return them to Earth.

If it succeeds, it will be the first time scientists have obtained fresh samples of lunar rocks since a Soviet probe in the 1970s.

The Chang’e 5 flight is China’s third successful lunar landing. Its predecessor, Chang’e 4, became the first probe to land on the moon’s little-explored far side.

The latest flight includes collaboration with the European Space Agency, which is helping to monitor the mission.

China’s space program has proceeded more cautiously than the U.S.-Soviet space race of the 1960s, which was marked by fatalities and launch failures.

In 2003, China became the third country to fire an astronaut into orbit on its own after the Soviet Union and the United States. It also launched a crewed space station.

Space officials say they hope eventually to land a human on the moon but no time line or other details have been announced.

China, along with neighbors Japan and India, also has joined the growing race to explore Mars.

The Tianwen 1 probe launched in July is en route to the red planet carrying a lander and a robot rover to search for water.

Many of the new infections in Hong Kong have been tied to dance studios, and outbreaks have also been found among staff and guests at several restaurants. The new uptick in infections follows a more than three month period during which Hong Kong reported just a handful of cases each day.

Authorities have responded by tightening social distancing restrictions, including closing entertainment venues such as karaoke bars and game centers and limiting public gatherings to two people. A hotline has been set up to allow the public to report large gatherings on yachts.

The growing number of cases has further delayed a “travel bubble” between Singapore and Hong Kong that was initially slated for November. The bubble would have allowed visitors to travel between the cities without needing to quarantine if they tested negative for the coronavirus.

Statements by the Hong Kong government and Singapore’s civil aviation authority on Tuesday said both cities have decided to postpone the bubble beyond December, given the high number of local cases in Hong Kong.

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