China is about to launch its most advanced mission to the moon yet

Long March 5 rocket

This Long March 5 rocket will launch China’s Chang’e 5 lunar probe

Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images

China plans to launch its Chang’e 5 spacecraft imminently, in the first mission designed to bring moon rocks back to Earth in more than four decades.

The uncrewed Chang’e 5 probe will attempt to collect at least 2 kilograms of lunar dust and debris from the northern region of the Oceanus Procellarum, a previously unvisited area on the near side of the moon.

If successful, the Chang’e 5 return mission will make China only the third country, after the US …