Chinese lander touches down on Mars in ‘pre-set zone’ in Beijing’s first mission to Red Planet

China’s Zhurong rover has stuck a successful landing on the surface of Mars, according to state media, in the culmination of the country’s first independent mission to the Red Planet after the ship departed from Earth last summer.

The unmanned lander reached its destination on Mars’ Utopia plain on Saturday, Xinhua News reported, noting that the craft would carry out imaging of its surroundings and a self-inspection before moving off of its landing platform.

China’s first Mars mission Tianwen-1 just landed at Utopia Planitia successfully at 7:40, May 15 2021 Beijing time.

— Steve Yang Liu (@SteveYangLiu) May 15, 2021

The 529-pound (240kg) rover survived a turbulent trip through the Martian atmosphere after spending months in orbit, hitting supersonic speeds before a parachute and retrorockets slowed its descent. The landing makes China just the third country to successfully operate a vehicle on Mars behind the United States and the former Soviet Union – though the USSR’s Mars 3 lander was only able to briefly transmit a partial image from the planet’s surface in 1971 before failing. 

Congratulations to CNSA’s #Tianwen1 team for the successful landing of China’s first Mars exploration rover, #Zhurong! Together with the global science community, I look forward to the important contributions this mission will make to humanity’s understanding of the Red Planet.

— Thomas Zurbuchen (@Dr_ThomasZ) May 15, 2021

Dubbed Tianwen-1, the mission began in earnest last July, when the rover and an orbiter craft lifted off aboard a Long March 5 rocket from a launch site in Wenchang, reaching orbit around Mars in February.

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Tianwen-1 probe successfully enters Mars orbit in China’s first independent mission to Red Planet

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Source:RT World News

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