China’s Chang’e 5 probe lifts off from moon carrying lunar samples

China has launched a small spacecraft from the surface of the moon in the critical next step in the ambitious Chang’e 5 mission to bring lunar samples to Earth.

The small probe, which sat on top of the Chang’e 5 lander, lifted off from Oceanus Procellarum at 10:10 EST Thursday (15:10 GMT/23:10 Beijing time) carrying with it the first fresh lunar samples since 1976.

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