World

China successfully lands spacecraft on moon to retrieve lunar rocks

December 01, 2020
China's Chang'e-5 spacecraft successfully lands on the near side of the moon. Courtesy Xinhua
China's Chang'e-5 spacecraft successfully lands on the near side of the moon. Courtesy Xinhua

BEIJING — China successfully landed a spacecraft on the moon's surface on Tuesday in a historic mission to retrieve lunar surface samples, Chinese state media reported.

The Chang'e-5 spacecraft "landed on the near side of the moon late Tuesday," the Xinhua report said, citing the China National Space Administration (CNSA).

The lander-ascender combination of the spacecraft separated from its orbiter-returner combination at 4:40 a.m. on Monday (Beijing time), according to CNSA.

The mission's goal is to shovel up lunar rocks and soil to help scientists learn about the Moon's origins, formation, and volcanic activity on its surface.

Launched on Nov. 24, Chang'e-5 is one of the most complicated and challenging missions in China's aerospace history, as well as the world's first moon-sample mission for more than 40 years.

If successful, China will be only the third country to have retrieved samples from the Moon, following the United States and the Soviet Union in the 1960s and 1970s.

China has poured billions into its military-run space program, with hopes of having a crewed space station by 2022 and of eventually sending humans to the moon. — Agencies




December 01, 2020
750 views
HIGHLIGHTS
World
8 hours ago

Biden unveils COVID-19 plan, warns it will take months to 'turn things around'

World
14 hours ago

Biden unveils national pandemic response on first full day in office

World
17 hours ago

Death toll rises to 32 as twin suicide blasts rock Baghdad