New Delhi (Anish Yande): The Chinese space mission, the unmanned Chang'e 5 mission has retrieved lunar rocks from the surface of the Moon. Before taking off from the Moon, the Chinese flag was unfurled on the lunar surface. The flag's existence was revealed in a tweet by China's foreign ministry spokesperson.
Chinese Flag on the Moon:
Hua Chuying, the foreign ministry spokesperson sent out a tweet with images of China's flag on the moon after the Chang'e 5 mission. Chuying wished the Chang'e 5 a safe travel on the journey back to Earth.
The Chang'e 5 unmanned mission was the most recent mission through the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program. The Chang'e 5 mission went to the moon to bring back samples for the Moon for further studies. The scientists through this mission are looking to understand the origin of the Moon and the nature of volcanic activity on the Moon.
China's space agency had stated that the Chang'e 5 mission would retrieve up to two kilograms of lunar samples. The collection area is primarily the 'Ocean of Storms'. The Chinese space agency stated that the mission was a success.
The first countries to bring back samples of the Moon's surface were the former Soviet Union and the United States. These countries had undertaken their space missions in the 1960s to 70s. The last mission by a country to retrieve lunar rock samples was undertaken by the former Soviet Union in 1976. These missions were conducted through the Luna 24 missions.
Statements by NASA and China:
Meanwhile, the Associate Administrator at NASA, Thomas Zurbuchen, congratulated China on their success. In a tweet, he stated, that when the samples return to Earth, hopefully, they would be provided for studies across the world. Zurbuchen expressed his optimism by saying that 'the international scientific community would benefit from studying the samples'
The Xinhua news service, monitored by the Chinese government, called the mission 'one of the most challenging aerospace missions in Chinese history'.
Image Credit: Google and CNSA