Before departing, the Chang'e 5 lander vehicle unfolded a Chinese national flag made from fabric and planted it on the surface, making China the second country in the world to do this after the US. The mission consisted of four individual unmanned spacecrafts - a landing module, an ascent module, an orbital module, and a reentry module.
China's achievement follows the United States and the Soviet Union, which both collected lunar samples decades ago.
In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, recovery crew members film the capsule of the Chang'e 5 probe after its successful landed in Siziwang district, north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020.
China's unmanned Chang'e 5 spacecraft has returned safely to earth carrying 2 kilogrammes of rocks and soil from the moon's surface, making China just the third country after the US and the Soviet Union to achieve the feat. Moreover, the mission launched a lunar vehicle on the moon's surface used for moving the rock samples.
Beijing is working to catch up with the US and Russian Federation after taking decades to begin to rival the laters' achievements - dumping billions into its military-controlled space program, Phys.org reports.
The latest Chang'e 5 test was helped by the European Space Agency, as well as Argentina, Namibia, and Pakistan, which work with China monitoring and speaking with its space vessel.
The samples from this region could help scientists understand more about the moon's origins and foundations - and set the foundation for more complex sample retrieval missions in the future, potentially on other planets. The ascender of Chang'e-5 probe successfully rendezvoused and docked with the orbiter-returner combination in lunar orbit, and transferred the samples to the returner on December 6.
"The Chang'e-5 lunar exploration mission has received support and assistance from relevant countries and global organizations including the European Space Agency, Argentina, Namibia, and Pakistan".
The rocks and debris brought back by Chang'e 5 are thought to be billions of years younger than those obtained by the USA and former Soviet Union, offering new insights into the history of the moon and other bodies in the solar system.
"Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee, President of the State, and Chairman of the Central Military Commission, sent a congratulatory message". "At first glance, I thought you were saying we have found animals on the moon", read one comment.
China is increasingly becoming a major player in the space industry. -Soviet space race of the 1960s, which was marked by fatalities and launch failures.
China's 13th Five Year Plan presents "space" as a research priority in the nation including in-orbit as well as deep space explorations.
Meanwhile China's Mars probe Tianwen-1 is now more than 100 million kms away from Earth and is functioning normally, the CNSA said on Tuesday. Between 1969 and 1972, Apollo managed to send a manned mission to the moon to collect moon rock samples.
Is China the only country to have brought back moon rocks?