January 16, 2021

China lands sample return probe on moon

December 1, 2020

A Chinese spacecraft successfully touched down on the moon Tuesday, beginning what engineers have described as the most challenging phase of the mission to drill, scoop, and seal rocks for launch back into orbit later this week and return to Earth in mid-December.

China’s Chang’e 5 spacecraft enters lunar orbit

November 28, 2020

Five days after taking off on a heavy-lift Long March 5 rocket, China’s Chang’e 5 sample return spacecraft entered orbit around the moon Saturday, moving into position for a descent to the lunar surface in a bid to gather specimens and bring them back to Earth.

Live coverage: Chinese sample return spacecraft completes docking in lunar orbit

November 23, 2020

After launching Nov. 23 and arriving in lunar orbit over the weekend, China’s Chang’e 5 sample return mission landed on the moon Tuesday, targeting a volcanic region in the Oceanus Procellarum region. On Thursday, the craft’s ascender vehicle took off to begin the trip back to Earth, followed by a successful docking with the mission’s return vehicle in lunar orbit Saturday.

Scientists release new view from OSIRIS-REx’s asteroid smash and grab

November 2, 2020

Scientists say the touch and go landing by NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft on an asteroid last month revealed fresh insights into the structure of loose rocks that may cover the surfaces of many small planetary bodies — material that is more akin to a playground ball pit than solid bedrock.

Asteroid samples sealed in OSIRIS-REx return capsule

October 29, 2020

A collection chamber that could contain more than 2 pounds of samples gathered from an asteroid in deep space last week has been sealed inside of a return capsule on NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft to bring the extraterrestrial specimens back to Earth in 2023, officials announced Thursday.

OSIRIS-REx begins stowing asteroid sample into return capsule

October 28, 2020

Working under close supervision from ground controllers more than 200 million miles away, the robotic arm on NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft has begun placing specimens collected from an asteroid last week into a return capsule to bring the material back to Earth in 2023, officials said Wednesday.

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