China becomes the third country to land on the surface of Mars

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China has taken another big step forward in its ambitious space program, successfully landing its Tianwen-1 probe on Mars to become just the third nation to touch down on the Red Planet. Onboard is the country’s Zhurong lander, which is currently surveying the surrounding environment and will soon be rolled out to study the Martian environment from the surface.

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China’s Tianwen-1 mission was launched in July last year and carried an orbiter, lander and rover towards Mars over a journey lasting nearly seven months. After entering the planet’s orbit in February, the spacecraft spent more than two months searching for a landing site, before mission scientists settled on a plain in the northern hemisphere called Utopia Planitia.

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Source: Nick Lavars

Photo credit: Press


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