Dec 16

China’s Chang’e 5 capsule lands on Earth with the 1st new moon samples in 44 years

For the first time in more than four decades, humanity has brought moon rocks down to Earth.
A capsule loaded with lunar dirt and gravel landed in Inner Mongolia today (Dec. 16) at 12:59 p.m. EST (1759 GMT), capping China’s historic and whirlwind Chang’e 5 mission.

The Chang’e 5 samples should provide a new window into lunar history and evolution, scientists say, given that rocks in the Mons Rümker region are thought to have formed just 1.2 billion years ago or so. «So the Chang’e 5 samples will fill a critical gap,» Bradley Jolliff, a planetary scientist at Washington University in St. Louis, said.


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