A Chinese spacecraft carrying rocks and soil from the Moon returned safely to Earth early on Thursday (17) in the first mission in four decades to collect lunar samples, the Xinhua news agency said.
The capsule carrying the samples collected by the Chang’e-5 space probe landed in northern China’s Inner Mongolia region, Xinhua said, quoting the China National Space Administration (CNSA).
The agency’s director, Zhang Kejian, declared the mission a success, Xinhua said.
President Xi Jinping congratulated the team involved in the probe shortly after the mission was completed.
With this mission, China became only the third country to have retrieved samples from the Moon, following the United States and the Soviet Union in the 1960s and 1970s.