China’s Chang’e-5 probe completed its sampling process this past Wednesday. For the first time, moon samples have been gathered automatically. Here’s more from SlashGear:
The first action the probe carried out after landing was to unfolded solar panels. Both a drill and a mechanical arm were used to collect lunar soil samples. China shared a video of the spacecraft touching down on YouTube. The video included some still shots showing the probe during its sampling mission.
The video clearly shows samples of lunar soil and material being dumped into a container aboard the spacecraft. The next phase of the mission would presumably be to launch the ascent portion of the module to return the samples to earth. China has gathered its samples from a moon region not previously sampled by the United States or the Soviet Union.
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