BEIJING, DEC 2 (ANSA) – The Chinese probe Chang’e-5, launched into space on November 23, successfully landed today on the surface of the moon to collect lunar rocks, in the first such operation in more than 40 years, the China Space Agency (CNSA) said. The landing took place in the Mons Rumker area, on the huge volcanic plain known as Oceanus Procellarum, or “Ocean of Storms”, on the side of the moon closest to Earth. The unmanned mission was christened in honor of a moon goddess in Chinese mythology and aims to collect material to help scientists understand the origins of the satellite, with a view to building a lunar base. The probe was designed to collect dust and moon rocks by excavating the soil at a depth of two meters. These samples are expected to return to Earth later this month and help scientists better understand the history of the Moon. China is on track to be the third country in the world, after the United States and Russia, to have lunar material to study. . The last mission of this type dates back to 1976, when the Luna 24 unmanned mission was successfully carried out by the former Soviet Union. The arrival at the lunar surface is China’s third successful landing, after the first made by the Chang’e- 3 on December 14, 2013 and the one on the dark side of the Moon, completed by the Chang’e-4 spacecraft on January 2, 2019.The “Long March 5” rocket launched the Chang’e-5 spacecraft from the space launch center Wenchang, on the tropical island of Hainan, at 5:30 pm (local time), on the 23rd of November.