To make a good landing, the scout had to go through “seven minutes of agony”. The descent through Mars’ atmosphere is tricky and has proven to be a bridge too far for a number of missions. The Chinese Space Agency confirmed that the landing was successful and President Xi Jinping congratulated all participants.
China is the third country to control the landing of a “rover” on Mars. Previously, only the Soviet Union and the United States succeeded. State TV took an interest in this landmark event on the show “Nihao Mars” (“Hello Mars”).
The Chinese named the six-wheeled vehicle Mars after the legendary god of fire. The vehicle flew to Mars aboard the Tianwen-1 space probe (Heavenly Questions -1). It was launched in July. The spacecraft reached Earth in February after crossing a difficult 470 million kilometers in about 200 days.
The vehicle, equipped with scientific instruments, was brought to the surface of the planet with a landing capsule. That plane used a parachute and thrusters to slow down while landing. It was initially hung about 100 meters above the ground to find a good spot.
China wants to use the Zhurong River to find traces of life and map the surface and soil of Mars. The explorer can move across the planet’s surface at a speed of about 200 meters per hour and is powered by solar energy.
The Mars mission is not the only ambitious Chinese space project. It also began at the end of April with the construction of a space station near Earth.
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