Top 10 international science stories of 2020

By Wang Yiming
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, January 20, 2021
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# China's Chang'e-5 mission

Image released by the China National Space Administration (CNSA) on Dec. 4, 2020 shows China's national flag unfurled from the Chang'e-5 probe on the moon. [Photo/Xinhua]

On Dec. 19, 2020, approximately 1,731 grams of samples from the moon were retrieved from the Chang'e-5 probe. Since then, the storage, analysis and research work of the lunar samples has been carried out accordingly.

The sixth mission in the Chang'e program, Chang'e-5, was one of the most difficult and challenging endeavors China has ever embarked on.

The probe achieved four significant "firsts" in Chinese space exploration: the automatic sampling of the lunar surface by probe; the first take-off from the moon's surface; the first unmanned rendezvous and docking in lunar orbit around 380,000 km away; and the first high-speed return to earth with lunar soil samples.

The entire world has been following the Chang'e 5 mission closely. According to journal Science: "The capsule's return marks the first time China has collected rocks from the Moon — and the first time any nation has accomplished the feat since 1976."

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