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Chinese Spacecraft Returns Safely After A Trip Around The Moon, Details Here

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China-Lunar-Sample-ProgramAfter the week the space travel industry had, we all need a happy space story right about now. This one happens to involve a private spacecraft, but not one built or launched in America. On Saturday, the first privately funded moon mission concluded a successful eight-day return trip.

The mission, called 4M (Manfred Memorial Moon Mission), was developed by LuxSpace, a company from Luxembourg, and coupled with a Chinese lunar flyby mission called Chang’e 5-T1 (you might recognize the name Chang’e from the Yutu mission). The flyby was developed to test China’s new re-entry technology, as the country is ramping up its lunar exploration program, while the 4M project was an experiment in communications and the feasibility of crowdsourcing participation.