China is about to launch its most advanced mission to the moon yet

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Space

23 November 2020

Long March 5 rocket

This Long March 5 rocket will launch China’s Chang’e-5 lunar probe

Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images

China plans to launch its Chang’e 5 spacecraft today, in the first mission designed to bring moon rocks back to Earth in more than four decades.

The uncrewed Chang’e 5 spacecraft will attempt to collect at least two kilograms of lunar dust and debris from the northern region of the Oceanus Procellarum, a previously unvisited area on the near side of the moon.

If successful, the Chang’e 5 return mission will make China only the third country after the US and …