China to launch its first spacecraft to moon to collect samples, return to earth


China said on Monday that it will launch its first unmanned space mission on Tuesday to collect samples from the moon’s surface and return to earth, which its space scientists say is one of the country’s most complicated and challenging space missions. China National Space Administration (CNSA) said that the fuelling of the Long March-5 rocket, currently China’s largest launch vehicle, began on Monday ahead of the launch on early Tuesday.

The rocket, which will send the Chang’e-5 spacecraft to Earth-moon transfer orbit, is scheduled to be launched from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site in south China’s Hainan Province in the early hours on Tuesday. The mission is the country’s first attempt to launch a spacecraft to collect and return samples from the moon, the CNSA said.

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