China goes to the moon and back for the first time

China plans to land on the moon by 2017.
By Thor Benson  |  Nov. 1, 2014 at 5:37 PM
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BEIJING, Nov. 1 (UPI) -- China has successfully completed it's first mission to the moon and back and plans to land on the moon by 2017.

An unmanned spacecraft flew around the moon and then returned by landing in the grasslands of Mongolia, according to state news agency Xinhua. The unmanned craft traveled at roughly 25,000 miles per hour on its return trip before it entered Earth's atmosphere and reached temperatures of almost 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

China is now the third country to go to the moon and back, after Russia and the United States.

China's State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense (SASTIND) claims their Chang'e-5 unmanned probe will land on the moon in 2017 to collect samples from the surface.

China plans to eventually land a man on the moon, something that hasn't been done in about 42 years. The country plans to build its own space station by 2020.

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