China Will Bring Moon Rocks Back to Earth in November
China’s Chang’e-5 mission, in which a robotic lunar probe will land on the moon and retrieve a sample for researchers on Earth to study, is now slated for November, according to state media. It will be China’s first ever sample retrieval mission in space.
After touching down on the moon, the lander will dig the moon’s surface and place samples in a vessel before transferring the vessel to a returner. Finally, the returner will bring these moon rocks back to Earth.
Although no space programs around the world have plans in the near future to send people to the moon, China does have a vision beyond lunar exploration. Last August, it launched the world’s first quantum satellite, which has hacker-proof communication systems and propelled China ahead of space programs around the world.