After over 50 years since the US planted the first human flag on the moon, China has recently become the second country to do the same. China achieved the feat during its Chang’e 5 moon mission. The mission’s purpose was to collect the soil sample from the lunar’s surface and bring it back on the earth for research purposes.
The images of the flag that China planted were taken by a camera fitted on Chang’e 5 minutes before it collected samples of lunar soil before exiting the moon and returning to Earth.
The flag representing China is 2-metre wide and 90-cm tall.
The Chang’e 5 robotic spacecraft was launched back on November 23, 2020, and landed on the moon on Tuesday. The Chang’e-5 mission is expected to realize four “firsts” in China’s space history. A couple among these 4-firsts for China are — China’s spacecraft return to the earth with a sample of the lunar body for the first time and also the first time for China’s spacecraft to take-off from the moon.
The spacecraft is bringing back 2-4 kgs of the lunar dirt.
Earlier countries including Russia and the US have already brought lunar soil back to earth. The soil these countries had brought back is said to be around 3.2 billion years old. Bagging rocks from the location where China has landed its spacecraft will help scientists to more accurately date the Moon.
China also has plans to send humans to the moon and have a permanent base there by the end of the next decade.