Chang'e 5

The Chang'e 5 lunar mission was a robotic spacecraft sent to the moon by the Chinese National Space Administration's (CNSA) to collect samples and return them to Earth for scientific study. It's China's first attempt at a sample-return mission, and will be the first probe to bring back material from the moon since the Soviet Union's Luna 24 mission in 1976.

Chang'e 5 is part of the CNSA's Chang'e lunar exploration program. Named after a Chinese goddess of the moon, the series of missions aims to steadily increase their technological capabilities, laying the groundwork for future human landings.

The Chang'e 5 probe launched on 23 Nov. 2020 from Wenchang Space Launch Center in Hainan province aboard a Long March 5 rocket. The spacecraft has four modules, two of which remained in lunar orbit.

The other two — the sample collector and an ascent vehicle — landed on the moon on the 1st of Dec. 2020 near a huge mountain called Mons Rümker. The mountain is situated in the Oceanus Procellarum ("Ocean of Storms"), a vast volcanic plain that has also been explored by a number of other Moon missions, most famously Apollo 12.

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