China is hours away from attempting a mission that hasn’t been tried since the end of the space race in the 1970s. Atop its Long March 5Y rocket, China plans to launch a lander to collect lunar soil never seen by researches here on Earth.
The mission is called “Chang’e 5” after the Chinese goddess of the moon. It’s also a continuation of what China has done with Chang’e 1-4 which has focused on learning how to orbit and land on the Moon. Now it is time for China to attempt to return a sample of the lunar surface.