China positions rocket ahead of ambitious lunar mission

BEIJING (AP) — China has moved a massive rocket into place in preparation for launching a mission to bring back materials from the moon for the first time in four decades. The Long March-5 was transported by tractor Tuesday from its hangar to the nearby launch site at the space base in Wenchang along the coast of the southern island province of Hainan. The Chang’e 5 mission it will carry is scheduled to launch early next week, placing a lander on the moon that will drill beneath the surface and scoop up rocks and dust to be brought to earth. That would allow scientists to study newly obtained lunar materials for the fist time since the American and Russian missions of the 1960s and 1970s.