The Chang’e 5 lunar mission is China’s first-ever sample-return mission. After succeeding, it has become the first lunar sample return mission to be completed since 1976, when the Soviet Union carried out the Luna 24 robotic probe mission to the Moon.
The Chang’e 5 ascent vehicle and orbiter spacecraft came together on 5 December and successfully carried out a docking in lunar orbit to bring home the first samples from the moon in more than 40 years, according to the China Lunar Exploration Programme.
Re-entry and landing is expected around 17 December. After that, the samples of the lunar soil will be taken to special laboratories for a series of radiometric, isotopic, composition and other tests.
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