China’s Tianwen-1 lands on Mars, will now deploy Zhurong rover

China’s Tianwen-1 lands on Mars, will now deploy Zhurong rover

A Chinese spacecraft has landed on Mars, making China only the second country after the US to send a rover to the surface of the Red Planet.

A Chinese spacecraft has landed on Mars, making China only the second country after the US to send a rover to the surface of the Red Planet.

A China National Space Administration (CNSA) lander from the Tianwen-1, which has been in orbit since February, touched down on Utopia Planitia, a large plain in the northern hemisphere of Mars on Saturday at about 7 a.m. local time, according to reports by state media CCTV.

The lander was carrying the Zhurong rover, named after an ancient Chinese god of fire, which will explore the surface near the landing site.

“The Tianwen-1 mission has achieved China’s first landing on another planet, and is a milestone with great significance in China’s development of space and aviation,” according to CCTV.

NASA’s Viking 2 visited Utopia Planitia in 1976, a few months after its twin, Viking 1, made history as the first probe to land safely on the planet. The U.S. space agency has sent several missions since then and its latest, the Perseverance rover, has been on the surface since February 18. On April 19, the US space program became the first to fly an aircraft, the Ingenuity helicopter, on another planet.

Now that the Chinese rover has reached the surface, Zhurong will begin exploring. It will need to work fast: The rover, which weighs 240 kilograms, can last three Martian months, about 92 days on Earth.

Article From indianexpress.com

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