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BEIJING, Dec 17 (APP): China on Thursday thanked Pakistan and other relevant countries and international organizations including European Space Agency, Argentina and Namibia for providing support and assistance for Chang’e-5 lunar exploration mission.

“The Chang’e-5 lunar exploration mission has received support and assistance from relevant countries and international organizations including the European Space Agency, Argentina, Namibia, and Pakistan. China expresses its heartfelt thanks to them,” Chinese Foreign Ministry’s Spokesperson, Wang Wenbin said during his regular briefing held here.

He informed that in the early hours of this morning, Chang’e-5 successfully returned to Earth after completing its 23-day space journey. The mission of the lunar exploration project Chang’e-5 was a complete success.

“Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee, President of the State, and Chairman of the Central Military Commission, sent a congratulatory message. We are all deeply inspired and excited,” he added.

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Wang Wenbin said as China’s most complex aerospace system project with the largest technological span, Chang’e-5 marks a major step forward for China’s aerospace and will contribute to the deepening of mankind’s scientific understanding of the origin of the moon and the evolution of the solar system.

He remarked that the pace of human exploration of space is endless. But “there is nothing difficult, as long as you are willing to climb”.

The spokesperson said the Chinese side is willing to work with other countries in the world to carry forward the spirit of chasing dreams, exploring courageously, cooperating in tackling tough issues, and cooperating for win-win lunar exploration, so as to make greater contributions to the peaceful exploration and use of outer space and the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.

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It may be mentioned here that after weeks of space travel, China’s Chang’e-5 probe has come back to Earth with fresh lunar rock and soil samples in the early morning.

The precious cargo is the first lunar samples that humanity has obtained in more than four decades.

The returner capsule landed at the designated landing site in Siziwang Banner in north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

Zhang Kejian, head of the China National Space Agency (CNSA), declared Chang’e-5 mission a success, marking the conclusion of China’s current three-step lunar exploration programme of orbiting, landing, and bringing back samples. The programme began in 2004.