BEIJING, Dec. 17 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping Thursday congratulated on the complete success of the Chang'e-5 mission that brings back the country's first samples collected from the moon.
On behalf of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, the State Council and the Central Military Commission (CMC), Xi, also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee and chairman of the CMC, extended warm congratulations and sincere greetings to all members who participated in the Chang'e-5 mission in a congratulatory message.
As China's most complicated space project, Xi said the Chang'e-5 mission has achieved the extraterrestrial sampling and returning for the first time. It is another major achievement in overcoming difficulties by giving full play to the advantages of the new system of pooling national resources and strength, marking a great step forward in China's space industry. This will contribute to deepening the understanding of the origin of the moon and the evolution history of the solar system, he noted.
"Your remarkable feats will always be remembered by our country and people," said Xi.
Noting that there is no end for space exploration, Xi expressed the hope that those who have participated in the Chang'e-5 mission will carry forward the lunar exploration spirit of pursuing dreams, daring to explore, collaborating in tackling difficulties and win-win cooperation, and start new interplanetary exploration, so as to contribute more to building China's strength in aerospace, achieving national rejuvenation, peaceful use of space and building of a community with a shared future for humanity.
The congratulatory message was read out by State Councilor Wang Yong at the Beijing Aerospace Control Center.
Chang'e-5 mission has achieved many major breakthroughs including China's first lunar surface sampling and sealing, first liftoff from the moon, first rendezvous and docking in lunar orbit, and first spacecraft carrying samples to re-enter the Earth's atmosphere.
The success of the Chang'e-5 mission marks an accomplishment of China's current three-step lunar exploration program of orbiting, landing and bringing back samples, which began in 2004.