BEIJING: China successfully landed a spacecraft on the moon’s surface on Tuesday in a historic mission to retrieve lunar surface samples.
China launched its Chang’e-5 probe on Nov 24. The unscrewed mission, named after the mythical Chinese goddess of the moon, aims to collect lunar material to help scientists learn more about the moon’s origins.
The mission will attempt to collect two kilograms of samples in a previously unvisited area in a massive lava plain known as Oceanus Procellarum, or “Ocean of Storms”.
If the mission is completed as planned, it would make China the third nation to have retrieved lunar samples after the United States and the Soviet Union.
The lander vehicle that touched down on the moon’s surface was one of several spacecraft deployed by the Chang’e-5 probe.