China’s Chang’e-5 lunar probe returns to Earth after a short visit to the moon on Thursday. The spacecraft collected soil and rock samples over a period of about 19 hours and then left the surface of the moon.
The samples are expected to land on Earth around the middle of the month.
Before leaving, the spacecraft raised a flag there – making China only the second country to leave its national flag on the moon. China has not published a single in every two previous landings.
According to NASA, getting a lunar flag is not easy, and it’s possible that the solar radiation has removed the ones planted by the American astronauts.
Space expert and TV commentator Song Chung Ping told the China Global Times that her latest achievement for China is a nostalgic one. It has been more than half a century since the NASA Apollo 11 crew walked on the surface of the Moon.
“Yesterday’s memory is still vivid and clear, when American astronauts came out of their rooms and placed the first flag in human history, the American national flag, on the surface of the moon in 1969,” said Chung Ping. “But China is about to display our national flag as well, which I think is a recognition of our achievements and breakthroughs, which will be the most valuable thing.”
The Soviet Union was the first country to make its mark on the moon, intentionally smashing the Luna 2 probe there in 1959.
Devoted music ninja. Zombie practitioner. Pop culture aficionado. Webaholic. Communicator. Internet nerd. Certified alcohol maven. Tv buff.