China’s Chang’e 6 mission return capsule has been transferred to Beijing and opened to access its precious cargo.

The return capsule made its fiery plunge through the atmosphere on June 25 before landing in the grasslands of Inner Mongolia. The event brought the 53-day-long Chang’e 6 mission to a successful conclusion, delivering the first-ever lunar far side samples to Earth.

The capsule was airlifted to Beijing early Wednesday (June 26), to the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST), which designed the mission spacecraft. Once there, a ceremony was held which saw researchers open the return capsule and examine key technical indicators, according to state broadcaster CCTV.

Technicians remove the samples collected on the moon’s far side from the return capsule of the Chang’e 6 lunar mission. (Image credit: CCTV)

A sample container, holding up to 4.4 pounds (2 kilograms) of material from the moon, was then secured for the next stage of its journey. The samples will be transferred to specially developed facilities for storage, analysis and distribution for research. 

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