China's Chang'e 5 has successfully landed on the moon on Tuesday in an ambitious mission to bring back moon rocks and soil. This is the country's first collection of samples from an extraterrestrial body. The lander-ascender combination will carry out automatic sampling.

Xinhua news agency reported the successful landing of Chang'e landing craft in the preselected landing zone, which was carefully narrowed down because of its geological age of about 3.7 billion years. This will help scientists gain a comprehensive understanding of the evolution of moon.

Moon lander
Chang'e-3 moon landerCAS/CNSA/SACDME via Planetary Society

Launched on November 24, Chang'e-5 is one of the most complicated and challenging missions in China's aerospace history, as well as the world's first moon-sample mission for more than 40 years. The spacecraft is expected to package about 2kg of "soil" and to send it up to an orbiting vehicle that can then be sent back home.

This is a historic mission as a similar one was conducted 44 years ago when the Soviet Luna 24 had picked up under 200 grams of "soil."