Chinese moon probe begins return to Earth with lunar samples

Chinese state media say the country’s lunar probe has lifted off from the moon with a cargo of lunar samples on the first stage of its return to Earth

Via AP news wire
Thursday 03 December 2020 16:04

Chinese spacecraft takes off from Moon in ambitious lunar mission

Chinese state media say the country’s lunar probe has lifted off from the moon with a cargo of lunar samples on the first stage of its return to Earth

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 program, which also has a spacecraft en route to Mars carrying a robot rover.

The spacecraft touched down on the moon on Tuesday on a mission to bring lunar rocks back to Earth for the first time since a Russian spacecraft did so in 1976.

Its ascender module lifted off from the lunar surface shortly after 11 p.m. Beijing time Thursday (1500 GMT) and was to connect with the return vehicle to make the trip back to Earth.