The Chinese probe Chang’e-6 lifted off from the lunar surface on Tuesday morning, carrying samples collected from the far side of the Moon, an unprecedented feat in the history of human lunar exploration.

The ascender entered a predefined orbit around the Moon, the China National Space Administration (CNSA) said. The Chang’e-6 probe, consisting of an orbiter, a lander, an ascender and a return module, like its predecessor Chang’e-5, was launched on May 3. Its lander and ascender combination touched down in the designated landing area in the South Pole-Aitken Basin (SPA) on June 2.

The spacecraft completed its smart and rapid sampling work, and the samples were stored in a container inside the probe’s elevator as planned, CNSA said.


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