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China spacecraft is returning to Earth with moon samples in a first for the country

A Chinese spacecraft that collected lunar samples from the moon is preparing to come back to earth. This marks the first time that China has collected moon samples, making it the third country to retrieve lunar samples following missions launched by the US and Soviet Union in the late twentieth century. The Chang-5 spacecraft took off from the moon last Thursday, according to statements made by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.

The spacecraft successfully launched into a pre-determined orbit around the moon for several days and is expected to arrive on Earth in China’s Inner Mongolia region in roughly a week. This also marks a turning point in China’s space efforts, as President Xi Jinping urged the industry to transform the country into a great space power.

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