Chang'e 5 is an unmanned Chineselunar exploration mission currently under development, which is expected to land on the moon by 2017. Chang'e 5 will be China's first sample return mission, aiming to return at least 2 kilograms of lunar soil and rock samples back to the Earth.
The probe will be launched by Long March 5 rocket in Wenchang Satellite Launch Center on Hainan Island. After making a soft landing on the Moon, the lander will dig and collect a lunar sample from up to 2 meters below the surface. The lander will carry engineer landing cameras, optical cameras, a lunar mineral spectrometer, a lunar soil gas analytical instrument, a lunar soil composition analytical instrument, a sampling sectional thermodetector, and a robotic drilling rig.
Unlike earlier Soviet missions, the mission will make an automatic rendezvous and docking with the return module in lunar orbit before flying back to the Earth. A separate mission with an experimental spacecraft to conduct crucial re-entry tests on the capsule to be used in the Chang'e-5 will be carried out first, sometime before 2015.