China successfully landed its small remote-controlled robot “Zhurong” on the planet Mars on Saturday, state television CCTV reported.
“The Tianwen-1 lander successfully landed in the predefined area” on Mars with the “Zhurong” robot, CCTV said, adding that a “signal” had been received on Earth. A first for the Asian country.
China had already tried to ship a probe to Mars in 2011 during a joint mission with Russia, but the attempt was unsuccessful and Beijing then decided to continue on its own.
The Middle Kingdom thus launched at the end of July 2020 from Earth its uninhabited mission “Tianwen-1”, named after the probe sent into space.
This is made up of three elements: an orbiter (which revolves around the star), a lander (which has landed on Mars) and on board a remote-controlled robot, “Zhurong”.
The landing took place in an area of the red planet called “Utopia Planitia”, a vast plain located in the northern hemisphere of Mars.