China's lunar mission brings first moon rocks to Earth since 1970s

China's lunar mission brings first moon rocks to Earth since 1970s

The Chang'e-5 probe, comprising an orbiter, a lander, an ascender and a returner, is one of the most complicated and challenging missions in the country's aerospace history.

China's Chang'e 5 space capsule returned to earth after a successful lunar mission.

The capsule of the Chang'e 5 probe and its cargo of samples were flown to the space program's Beijing campus after landing just before 2 a.m. today. Jolliff wrote. "My hat is off to our Chinese colleagues for pulling off a very hard mission; the science that will flow from analysis of the returned samples will be a legacy that will last for many, many years, and hopefully will involve the global community of scientists". As an interesting aside, China is still the only country in the 21st century to successfully deliver landers to the lunar surface (the others being the Chang'e 3 and Chang'e 4 landers).

With this mission, China became only the third country to have retrieved samples from the Moon, following the United States and the Soviet Union in the 1960s and 1970s.

The milestone mission has accomplished several firsts for China, including the first moon sampling, the first liftoff from an extraterrestrial body, the first rendezvous and docking in lunar orbit, and the first spacecraft carrying samples to re-enter the Earth's atmosphere at high speed, Pei said.

Is this China's first tryst with the moon?

"Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee, President of the State, and Chairman of the Central Military Commission, sent a congratulatory message".

Now complete, this mission will do much to further China's ambitions in space. The claim to the moon harks back to the space race of the 1960s and 1970s, an era that led to unprecedented achievements made by both Russian Federation and United States of America in space missions while trying to compete with each other from both nuclear and ideological fronts.

Xu Hongliang, spokesman for the China National Space Administration, said the nation is "very welcoming" of joint research, according to The China Daily. In keeping with its growing space footprint, Beijing is also on the verge of building a permanent space station by 2022 and a manned mission to the moon by the next decade.

The declaration by Deputy Chief Commander of the China Lunar Exploration Program Wu Yanhua goes ahead the impact points of China's successful Chang'e 5 test arriving back on Earth Wednesday after it gathered nearly 2 kilograms of moon rock samples, the Associated Press announced. "SPD-6 bolsters the agency's efforts to develop affordable, safe, and reliable nuclear systems, including technology capable of continuously powering operations on other worlds and propelling future human missions to Mars".

While there it also raised the Chinese flag, according to the agency.

Is China the only country to have brought back moon rocks? Both Chang'e and the Soviet mission were unmanned.

"NASA strongly supports the White House's continued leadership on the agency's Artemis program, which includes landing the first woman and next man on the moon in 2024".

The Apollo and Luna missions together had collected a total of 400kg worth of lunar samples.

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