What Can We Learn From Going Back To The Moon : Short Wave It's been more than 40 years since rocks from the moon have come back to Earth. But in late November, a Chinese craft landed on the moon's surface--it's the country's first mission designed to retrieve samples of the moon's surface. The mission is called Chang'e-5, in honor of the moon goddess. NPR science correspondent Geoff Brumfiel tells us what the mission will tell us about the solar system, and how it foreshadows China's future ambitions on Earth and in space.

Email us at shortwave@npr.org.

Chang'e-5: To The Moon And Back

Chang'e-5: To The Moon And Back

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STR/AFP via Getty Images
This photo taken on November 17, 2020 shows the Long March 5 rocket, which will launch China's Chang'e-5 lunar probe on November 24, being vertically transported to the launching area at the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site in southern China's Hainan province. (Photo by STR / AFP) / China OUT (Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images)
STR/AFP via Getty Images

It's been more than 40 years since rocks from the moon have come back to Earth. But in late November, a Chinese craft landed on the moon's surface--it's the country's first mission designed to retrieve samples of the moon's surface. The mission is called Chang'e-5, in honor of the moon goddess.

NPR science correspondent Geoff Brumfiel tells us what the mission will tell us about the solar system, and how it foreshadows China's future ambitions on earth and in space.

Email us at shortwave@npr.org.

This episode was edited by Gisele Grayson, fact-checked by Ariela Zebede, and produced by Thomas Lu. The audio engineer for this episode was Josh Newell.