China's top 10 scientific advances in 2020 | Updated: 2021-03-02 14:36
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A recovery staff member works at the landing site of the return capsule of Chang'e 5 probe in Siziwang banner, North China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region, on Dec 17, 2020. [Photo by Wang Jiangbo/For China Daily]

2. Chang'e 5 probe's retrieval of lunar samples

The Chang'e 5 mission, China's most complicated space project, has achieved the Chinese space industry's first extraterrestrial sampling and return. It has achieved many major breakthroughs including China's first lunar surface sampling and sealing, first liftoff from the moon, first rendezvous and docking in lunar orbit, and first spacecraft carrying samples to re-enter the Earth's atmosphere.

The success of the Chang'e 5 mission marks a conclusion of China's three-step lunar exploration project, which includes orbiting, landing and return. It represents a great step forward for China's space industry and will contribute to deepening our understanding of how the moon formed and the evolution of solar system.

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