China became the second nation to plant a flag on the moon, when the Chang’e 5 moon lander deployed the high-tech aramid fiber flag on Dec. 3, 2020.
According to Space.com, the 2-meter-by-90-centimeter flag weighs just
0.4 ounces (12 grams) and is designed to “maintain its true colors” under a temperature difference of plus or minus 270 degrees Fahrenheit (150 degrees Celsius). The flag display system consists of three parts: the flag, a compression release device and a small pyrotechnic deployment mechanism. It unfolds like a scroll and is designed to lie flat and be wrinkle-free. The flag was deployed from the moon lander’s body and not planted in the gray dirt.
“An ordinary national flag on Earth would not survive the severe lunar environment,” project developer Cheng Chang told the Global Times.
Taihe New Materials of Yantai, Shandong province, and Wuhan Textile University collaborated to develop “a new type of high-performance composite material,” according to SportsTextiles.com. The university led thermal compatibility, high and low temperature resistance, anti-static and anti-lunar dust trials to develop the fiber, utilizing an efficient short process embedded composite spinning technology.