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China lands on Mars in latest advance for its space program

China's first Mars landing follows its launch last month of the main section of what will be a permanent space station and a mission that brought back rocks from the moon late last year.

By: AP | Beijing |
Updated: May 15, 2021 1:29:40 pm
tianwen 1, tianwen 1 images, tianwen 1 mars pictures, tianwen 1 high resolution mars images, tianwen 1 mars cratersAn image of Mars taken by China's Tianwen-1 unmanned probe is seen in this handout image released by China National Space Administration (CNSA) (Image: CNSA/Handout via REUTERS)

China has landed a spacecraft on Mars for the first time in the latest advance for its space programme.

The official Xinhua News Agency said Saturday that the lander had touched down, citing the China National Space Administration.

Plans call for a rover to stay in the lander for a few days of diagnostic tests before rolling down a ramp to explore an icy area of Mars known as Utopia Planitia. It will join an American one that arrived at the red planet in February.

China’s first Mars landing follows its launch last month of the main section of what will be a permanent space station and a mission that brought back rocks from the moon late last year.

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The US has had nine successful landings on Mars since 1976.

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First published on: 15-05-2021 at 07:09:28 am
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