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16 Dec, 2020 21:00

China's Chang’e-5 Moon probe lands back on Earth with lunar samples (VIDEO)

China's Chang’e-5 Moon probe lands back on Earth with lunar samples (VIDEO)

The Moon probe, Chang’e-5, has successfully returned to Earth, Chinese state media has reported. The feat makes China only the third nation ever to retrieve lunar samples, after the US and Russia.

The return capsule with the probe touched down in the Siziwang, or Dorbod, banner (county equivalent) of China’s Inner Mongolia early on Thursday, the Xinhua news agency reported, citing the China National Space Administration.

President Xi Jinping has already congratulated the team involved in the lunar project, describing the Chang’e-5 mission as a “complete success.”

A carrier rocket with the Chang’e-5 spacecraft was launched from Wenchang Space Launch Center on the southern Chinese island of Hainan on November 24. In early December, the spacecraft landed a vehicle on the Moon, which went on to collect samples of lunar rocks and soil. 

The plan was to gather 2kg of samples before departing the Moon’s surface, but it’s not yet clear how much material the probe successfully brought back to Earth.

Also on rt.com China lands spacecraft on the Moon in mission to retrieve lunar rocks – state media (PHOTOS)

Chang’e-5 makes China only the third nation in history to retrieve lunar samples – and the first to do so in 44 years. The last such mission, Luna 24, was carried out by the Soviet Union in 1976.

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