Though lunar samples were brought back in U.S. and Soviet missions, scientists need more samples of different ages to piece together a complete history of the moon.
Change-5 drilled into the lunar surface for samples that record evolutionary events and grabbed material on the surface. Using modern analytical technologies, scientists will unravel the mysteries of volcanic activities and meteorite impacts over the past billion years.
The Change-5 mission has accomplished several firsts for China, including the first moon sampling, the first liftoff from an extraterrestrial body, the first rendezvous and docking in lunar orbit, and the first spacecraft carrying samples to re-enter the Earth's atmosphere at high speed.
China is drawing up plans for future lunar exploration, including constructing a basic version of a scientific research station.
"We hope to cooperate with other countries to build the international lunar scientific research station, which could provide a shared platform for lunar scientific exploration and technological experiments," Pei said.