China’s Chang’e-5 spacecraft completes its mission, preparing to send back first lunar samples

Beijing on December 3 informed that a Chinese space probe, Chang’e-5 spacecraft that was sent to gather material from a previously unexplored part of the moon has completed its mission of moon sampling and now is preparing to send back the world’s first lunar samples in four decades.

Named after the mythical Chinese moon goddess, the spacecraft landed on the moon on December 1 and completed its gathering of lunar rocks and soil, said the China National Space Administration. If successful, China, after the United States and the Soviet Union will be only the third country to have retrieved samples from the Moon.

With hopes of having a crewed space station by 2022 and eventually sending humans to the Moon, China has invested billions into its military-run space programme.

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