FILE PHOTO: The moon is seen during a lunar eclipse over Shanghai, China July 28, 2018.
If successful, the mission will make China only the third country to have retrieved lunar samples, following the United States and the Soviet Union decades ago.
Since the Soviet Union crash-landed the Luna 2 on the moon in 1959, the first human-made object to reach another celestial body, a handful of other countries including Japan and India have launched moon missions.
The Soviet Union deployed three successful robotic sample return missions in the 1970s.
In July, China launched an unmanned probe to Mars in its first independent mission to another planet.
Aly, ”, James Head
REUTERS, Luna, Soviet Union, Mare Crisium, Brown University
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