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China probe with moon samples returns home

The Chinese space capsule carrying 2kg of samples from the moon’s surface has landed on the steppe of Inner Mongolia in northern China, state TV reports.

The successful Chang’e 5 mission makes China only the third space-faring country to have brought lunar samples to earth, after the United States and the Soviet Union.

It is the first time in 44 years that lunar soil and rocks have been brought back to earth.

The return marked the final leg of a 23-day mission that included the spacecraft’s moon landing, collection of soil and rock samples, ascension and docking with a moon orbiter and, finally, a four-day trip back to earth.

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