Chinese space capsule with moon rocks commences return to Earth

The space capsule launched by China missioned with bringing back the first moon rocks in more than four decades has commenced its return journey of three days to Earth on Sunday (December 13). Speaking on the same, China National Space Administration has stated that the Chang’e 5 lunar probe, which had been revolving around the moon for almost a week, ignited four engines for nearly 22 minutes to move out of the orbit of the moon.

According to reliable sources, the lander of the spacecraft landed on the moon at the start of the month near a formation referred as the Mons Rumker, which is a region considered as a site of ancient volcanic activity. Reportedly, it collected samples of around 2 kilograms.

Now, the returning capsule is anticipated to land in the Inner Mongolia area of northern China post separation from rest of the spacecraft and hovering down using parachutes. The material is reportedly the first being brought back since Luna 24 probe by the Soviet Union in 1976.

Reportedly, the rocks and debris were collected by scooping off moon’s surface directly as well as drilling into its crust. They are likely to be billions of years older as compared to those brought by previous US and Soviet Union missions, with a possibility of providing useful information regarding moon’s history and that of other bodies in the solar system.

China has apparently set up labs for analyzing the samples for age and composition and is also likely to share some of them with other countries, similar to what was done with the hundreds of kilograms brought by the US and former Soviet Union.

As per credible sources, China's space program has several ambitious missions in progress, such as a probe headed towards Mars. The Chang’e lunar program which has been named after the ancient moon goddess of China, has been operating Chang’e 4 probe on the less explored side of moon for past two years.

Besides, the country also has future plans of returning human being to the moon and possibly a permanent moon base. In addition, China is also building a space station likely to be operational in early as 2022.

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Having completed her Post Graduate degree in Digital Marketing, Shreshtha always nurtured an innate passion for writing. She works as a content writer at and pens down news articles spanning numerous verticals. Her other interests include reading and travelling.