This is China’s first mission to Mars, and makes the country only the third nation — after Russia and the United States — to have landed a spacecraft on the planet.
When its Mars rover, Zhurong, touched down on the Red Planet on Saturday, China became the first country to carry out an orbiting, landing and roving operation during its first mission to Mars. China’s probe to Mars touched down on the Red Planet to deploy its Zhurong rover – a history-making feat for a nation on its first-ever Martian mission.
The lander carrying Zhurong completed the treacherous descent through the Martian atmosphere using a parachute to navigate the “seven minutes of terror” as it is known, aiming for a vast northern lava plain known as the Utopia Planitia.
It makes China the first country to carry out an orbiting, landing and roving operation during its first mission to Mars – a feat unmatched by the only other two nations to reach the Red Planet so far, the United States and Russia.
Zhurong now joins several other active Mars missions. NASA’s Perseverance rover, which arrived on 18 February, is several hundred kilometres away from the landing site, and NASA’s Curiosity rover has been poking around the planet since 2012. Several spacecraft are also circling Mars, including the United Arab Emirates’ Hope orbiter.
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