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China’s Mars rover Zhurong landed on Red Planet

The China National Space Administration (CNSA) said that the Zhurong rover inclined onto the surface of Mars late on May 21.

Now, China became the second nation after the US to successfully land on Red Planet. The Solar-powered rover reached the surface at 10:20 p.m. Eastern Friday.

China’s Mars rover Zhurong landed on Red Planet
China’s Mars rover Zhurong landed on Red Planet

Zhurong which is named after the Chinese mythical god Fire is a six-wheeled, solar-powered, 240-kilogram. Zhurong is the sixth rover on Mars, following five others of the United States.

The rover is carried out by the Tianwen-1 Mars probe. Tianwen-1 Mars probe, named after the Chinese poem, was launched on July 23, 2020, from the Wenchang Space Launch Center in the southernmost island province of Hainan.

The space agency released a short black and white video clip taken by cameras on Zhurong showing the process of it leaving the landing platform and setting its wheels on the soil.

The Zhurong rover is projected to spend three months taking photos, harvesting geographic data, and collecting and analyzing rock samples.

United States, Russia, and Europe tried several times to land rovers on Mars and have failed in the past. Recently the US Perseverance rove launched a robotic helicopter on Mars which was the first-ever powered flight on another planet. NASA expects the rover will then collect the sample in July and return to earth by 2031

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