Lunar mission is latest milestone in China’s space ambitions

WENCHANG, China (AP) — China’s latest trip to the moon is another milestone in the Asian powerhouse’s slow but steady ascent to the stars. China became the third country to put a person into orbit 17 years ago and the first to land on the far side of the moon in 2019. The Chang’e 5 mission launched Tuesday will be the first to bring back moon rocks and debris since a Soviet mission in 1976. Future ambitions include a permanent space station and putting people back on the moon more than 50 years after the U.S. did.