Xi Jinping praises success of Chang'e-5 lunar probe mission
Updated 16:48, 17-Dec-2020

After weeks of space travel, the Chang'e-5 lunar probe returned home on Thursday morning Beijing Time. Chinese President Xi Jinping lauded the success of the Chang'e-5 mission, which has brought back the country's first samples of rocks and soil from the moon in more than four decades.

In his message to all members who participated in the Chang'e-5 mission, President Xi called the mission China's most complicated space project, and the success of the mission is another major achievement in overcoming difficulties by giving full play to the advantages of the new nationwide system.

It marks a great step forward in China's space industry and will contribute to deepening the understanding of the origin of the moon and the evolution history of the solar system, Xi noted.

Stressing that there is no end for space exploration, Xi hopes that those who have participated in the Chang'e-5 mission will carry forward the lunar exploration spirit of pursuing dreams, daring to explore, cooperating in tackling difficulties and win-win cooperation so as to start new interplanetary exploration and contribute to building the country into a major power in space, national rejuvenation, the peaceful use of space and the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.

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Comprising a lander, an ascender, an orbiter and a returner, the Chang'e-5 probe was launched on November 24. Its lander-ascender combination successfully landed on the near side of the moon on December 1, and collected samples from both the lunar surface and under it.

The Chang'e-5 mission has also achieved many breakthroughs, including China's first lunar surface sampling and sealing, first liftoff from the moon, first rendezvous and docking in lunar orbit, and first spacecraft carrying samples to re-enter the Earth's atmosphere since the mid-1970s.

The success of the Chang'e-5 mission marks the conclusion of China's current lunar exploration project.

China thanks international help for Chang'e-5

The Chinese Foreign Ministry Thursday also expressed gratitude to relevant countries and international organizations that have offered help to the Chang'e-5 mission. 

"The Chang'e-5 mission was supported and assisted by some countries and international organizations, including the European Space Agency, Argentina, Namibia and Pakistan, to whom China expresses its sincere gratitude," Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at a regular press conference. 

The success of the mission marks a major step forward for the Chinese space industry and will contribute to deepening mankind's scientific knowledge of the origin of the Moon and the evolution history of the solar system, Wang added. 

Noting that human's exploration of space will never end, Wang said that China is willing to work with other countries around the world to carry forward the spirit of lunar exploration and to make greater contributions to the peaceful exploration and use of outer space for mankind and to promote the building of a community with a shared future for humanity. 

(With input from Xinhua)

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