China’s Chang’e 5 mission has successfully returned lunar sample to the Earth after it’s return capsule landed in the snowy Inner Mongolia (Northern China) after entering the Earth atmosphere and parachuting to the ground as reported by Chinese state media.
Chang’5 successfully landing makes China, the third nation to bring back lunar samples to the Earth after USA and USSR. This is the first lunar sample return mission since the Soviet Union’s Luna 24 robotic mission brought back lunar samples to Earth in 1976.
Chang’e 5 mission launched the four different spacecraft on November 23rd using the Long March 5 Rocket two of those spacecraft — a lander and an ascent vehicle landed on the lunar surface on December 1st and digged up lunar surface to collect lunar samples.
The ascent vehicle then blasted off of the Moon, carrying the samples to the rest of the spacecraft still in lunar orbit. Then the spacecraft carried the capsule enroute to the Earth atmosphere before it landed on the Earth.
China had already planned Chang’e 6 mission if this mission failed and its success means that it will now move to its next planned mission.