China’s Chang’e-5 brought 1,731 grams of samples from the moon

It was the country’s first attempt to bring the moon samples in over 40 years after the U.S. sent astronauts to the moon to collect samples

December 20, 2020 12:36 pm | Updated 12:36 pm IST - Beijing

In this Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020 photo released Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020 by China's Xinhua News Agency, technicians prepare to weigh a container carrying moon samples retrieved by China's Chang'e 5 lunar lander in Beijing.

In this Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020 photo released Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020 by China's Xinhua News Agency, technicians prepare to weigh a container carrying moon samples retrieved by China's Chang'e 5 lunar lander in Beijing.

China’s Chang’e-5 probe, which successfully returned to earth this week , has retrieved about 1,731 grams of samples from the moon, the country’s space agency said on Saturday.

The samples were transferred to the Chinese research teams on Saturday morning.

Scientists will carry out the storage, analysis and research of the country’s first samples collected from the extra-terrestrial object, the China National Space Administration (CNSA) said.

The return capsule of Chang’e-5 probe landed in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in the early hours of Thursday, bringing the samples collected from the moon.

The Chang’e-5 mission marks a successful conclusion of China’s current three-step lunar exploration programme of orbiting and landing, and bringing back samples which began in 2004.

In this Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020 photo released Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020 by China's Xinhua News Agency, a technician swabs the surface of a container carrying moon samples retrieved by China's Chang'e 5 lunar lander in Beijing.

In this Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020 photo released Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020 by China's Xinhua News Agency, a technician swabs the surface of a container carrying moon samples retrieved by China's Chang'e 5 lunar lander in Beijing.

It was the country’s first attempt to bring the moon samples in over 40 years after the U.S. sent astronauts to the moon to collect samples. In the Soviet Union’s unmanned lunar sampling missions, the spacecraft took off from the moon and returned to Earth directly.

The Chang’e-5 probe, comprising an orbiter, a lander, an ascender and a returner, was launched on November 24, and its lander-ascender combination touched down on the north of the Mons Rumker in Oceanus Procellarum, also known as the Ocean of Storms, on the near side of the moon on December 1.

China in recent years has emerged as a major space power with manned space missions and landing a rover in the dark side of the moon. It is currently building a space station of its own.

Chang’e-5, the third Chinese spacecraft to land on the moon, is the latest in a series of increasingly ambitious missions for Beijing’s space programme.

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