Exploring the vastness of the universe is the common dream of mankind. The moon is the closest celestial body to the earth, and it contains abundant resources and energy as well as a special environment. The development of space exploration in various countries primarily began with lunar exploration. In 2004, the CPC Central Committee grasped the general trend of China’s economic, scientific and technological development and made the major strategic decision to implement the lunar exploration program, establishing a three-step plan for orbiting, landing on and bringing back samples from the moon. Over the past 17 years, China’s lunar exploration program has successfully completed six launches, nurturing the lunar exploration spirit of pursuing dreams, daring to explore, working together and achieving win-win cooperation. On December 17, 2020, the Chang’e-5 return capsule landed safely on earth with a payload of 1731 grams of lunar samples. This represents the nation’s first successful return of samples from an extraterrestrial celestial body, which is an important milestone in the journey of building the country into a major space power.

As we embark on a new journey in comprehensively building a modern socialist country, the National Museum of China is holding an exhibition centered on Lunar Samples No. 001, displaying more than 40 scientific and technological objects related to the lunar exploration program, supplemented by a large number of pictures, dynamic images and videos. The exhibition systematically reviews the glorious achievements of China’s lunar exploration program, comprehensively demonstrates the great struggle of the Chinese people to realize the dream of “ascending into the heavens and reaching for the moon,” fully reflects the important role of the new nationwide system in promoting independent innovation and scaling scientific peaks, and highlights the fundamental role of scientific and technological self-reliance and self-improvement in driving national development. It also invigorates the national spirit, inspires national pride and enhances national cohesion.

The great cause began with a dream, was built on innovation and was accomplished through hard work. We sincerely hope that this exhibition can guide audiences to systematically understand China’s lunar exploration program, encourage people across the country to dare to dream, innovate and work hard, and gather tremendous strength to realize the Chinese dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.