Moment China’s lunar probe returns world’s first samples from far side of moon

China’s Chang’e-6 lunar probe landed on Tuesday 25 June in the northern region of Inner Mongolia, making the country the first to bring back samples from the moon’s far side.

The re-entry capsule touched down at 2:07pm Beijing time, according to state broadcaster CCTV, carrying lunar soil collected earlier in the month by the probe after a successful landing on the moon’s South Pole-Aitken Basin, an impact crater on the side of the moon that always faces away from Earth.

President Xi Jinping said the mission’s completion was a “landmark achievement” in China’s quest to become a space and scientific powerhouse.