The Chang'e-5 probe was launched on Nov. 24, 2020 and landed on the Moon on Dec. 1. The probe returned to Earth on Dec. 17, having retrieved a total of 1,731 grams of lunar samples, mainly rocks and soil from the moon's surface. China National Space Administration delivered approximately 17 grams of samples to 13 institutions, which had each applied for research programs.
As China’s most complicated aerospace project with the highest technology complexity span, Chang'e-5 completed extraterrestrial objects sampling and encapsulation, extraterrestrial object surface take-off, unmanned lunar orbit rendezvous and docking and sample transfer, Moon-to-Earth orbit transfer and high-speed reentry to Earth with Moon samples on load, all for the first time in China’s aerospace history.
The success of the Chang'e-5 lunar mission marks the completion of the three-step plan of China's lunar exploration program. It is a big step forward for China's space exploration and will contribute to deepening our scientific understanding of the lunar origin and the evolution of the solar system.