While the world is caught in a whirlpool of challenges amid COVID19 pandemic, China has claimed to have planted its national flag on the Moon.
Photographs released by China’s National Space Administration showed its 5-starred red flag on the windless lunar surface.
The images were taken by a camera on the Chang’e-5 space probe, named after the mythical Chinese moon goddess.
The Chang’e-5 on Thursday left the Moon to return to Earth.
China has now become the second country to plant its flag on the Moon. Earlier, the US flag was planted on the Moon in November 1969.
Five further US flags were planted on the surface of the Moon during subsequent missions up until 1972.
The Chang’e-5 space probe also brought lunar rocks, and the Chinese scientists are hopeful that the samples will help them learn about the Moon’s origins, formation and volcanic activity on its surface.
If the return journey is successful, China will be the third country to have retrieved samples from the Moon after the US and the Soviet Union.
The samples will be returned to Earth in a capsule programmed to land in northern China’s Inner Mongolia region, sources said.
It is the first attempt to bring back lunar rock samples since the Soviet Union’s Luna 24 mission in 1976.
China has mobilized a huge budget into its military-run space programme, with hopes of sending a crewed space station by 2022 and eventually sending humans to the Moon.
China had launched its first satellite in 1970, and Yang Liwei was the first Taikonaut in 2003.