science

China’s space agency releases images of national flag unfurled on moon

Image released by the China National Space Administration (CNSA) on Dec. 4, 2020 shows China's national flag unfurled from the Chang'e-5 probe on the moon. The image was taken by a panoramic camera installed on the lander-ascender combination of the probe, before the ascender blasted off from the moon with lunar samples late Thursday. (CNSA/Handout via Xinhua)

銆€銆€Image released by the China National Space Administration (CNSA) on Dec. 4, 2020 shows China's national flag unfurled from the Chang'e-5 probe on the moon. The image was taken by a panoramic camera installed on the lander-ascender combination of the probe, before the ascender blasted off from the moon with lunar samples late Thursday. (CNSA/Handout via Xinhua)

BEIJING, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) — The China National Space Administration Friday released images showing China’s national flag unfurled from the Chang’e-5 probe on the moon.

The images were taken by a panoramic camera installed on the lander-ascender combination of the probe, before the ascender blasted off from the moon with lunar samples late Thursday.

In one of the images, a robotic arm to collect lunar samples can be seen next to the flag.

Image released by the China National Space Administration (CNSA) on Dec. 4, 2020 shows China's national flag unfurled from the Chang'e-5 probe on the moon. The image was taken by a panoramic camera installed on the lander-ascender combination of the probe, before the ascender blasted off from the moon with lunar samples late Thursday. (CNSA/Handout via Xinhua)

銆€銆€Image released by the China National Space Administration (CNSA) on Dec. 4, 2020 shows China's national flag unfurled from the Chang'e-5 probe on the moon. The image was taken by a panoramic camera installed on the lander-ascender combination of the probe, before the ascender blasted off from the moon with lunar samples late Thursday. (CNSA/Handout via Xinhua)

China’s Chang’e-5 probe was launched on Nov. 24, and its lander-ascender combination touched down on the north of the Mons Rumker in Oceanus Procellarum, also known as the Ocean of Storms, on the near side of the moon on Dec. 1.

After the samples were collected and sealed, the ascender of Chang’e-5 took off from the lunar surface late Thursday, and is expected to carry out unmanned rendezvous and docking with the orbiter-returner in lunar orbit, an unprecedented feat.

Chang’e-5 is one of the most complicated and challenging missions in Chinese aerospace history, as well as the world’s first moon-sample mission in more than 40 years.

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