13:59 GMT18 January 2021
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    BEIJING (Sputnik) - China's Chang'e 5 sample-return mission has successfully entered the orbit of the moon on Saturday, after almost 112 hours of flight, the Lunar Exploration Program of the China National Space Administration (CNSA) said.

    "Having flown about 112 hours to the moon, the Chang'e 5 vehicle successfully started the 3000N engine at a distance of about 400 kilometres [248.5 miles] from the Earth's natural satellite, which operated in normal mode for about 17 minutes, and then shut down. The Chang'e-5 probe carried out circumlunar braking in a regular manner and successfully entered the lunar orbit", the agency said in a statement.

    The mission was launched from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Centre located in China's Hainan island province earlier this week. The mission is expected to last for approximately 23 days.

    The Chang'e 5 is China's first-ever sample-return mission. If successful, Chang'e 5 will be the first mission since the late 1970s to deliver regolith, the material on the moon's surface, to Earth. Previously, only the USSR and the United States managed to do this.

    Tags:
    Chang'e 5, China
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