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Chinese probe lands on Mars

Chinese probe lands on Mars

Data on the first Chinese probe that entered Mars orbit on February 10 and is expected to reach the red planet in May 2021. afp_tickers

This content was published on May 15, 2021 – 00:56

(AFP)

Public CCTV TV reported that China has successfully landed its “Zhurong”, which will be controlled remotely, on the surface of Mars on Friday (14), an unprecedented event for the Asian country.

Landing on the Red Planet is particularly difficult and several European, Soviet and American missions have failed in the past.

China had already tried to send a probe to Mars in 2011, on a joint mission with Russia, but the attempt failed and Beijing decided to pursue the adventure alone.

The Chinese launched their unmanned “Tianwen-1” mission from Earth in late July 2020, in honor of the probe that was sent into space. It consists of three components: an orbital probe (orbiting the star), a probe (landing on Mars) and an on-board “Zhurong” robot.

“The Tianwen-1 probe has successfully landed in the predetermined area” on Mars using the “Zhurong” robot, CCTV said, indicating that a “signal” has been received on Earth.

The landing took place in a region of the Red Planet called “Utopia Planitia”, which is a vast plain located in the northern hemisphere of Mars.

This is the first independent and ambitious attempt by the Chinese, who hope to do everything the Americans have done on various Mars missions since the 1960s.

In February, China placed the “Tianwen-1” spacecraft into Mars orbit and took pictures of the red planet.

On Saturday it managed to land the landing module on the surface of Mars, which will allow the guided robot “Zhurong” to leave.

The completion of these three operations on the first mission to Mars is unprecedented.

The “Zorong” weighs more than 200 kg, is equipped with four solar panels to supply it with electricity and plans to be operational for a period of three months.

It is also equipped with cameras, radar and lasers that allow you to study the environment and analyze the composition of Mars rocks.

The name “Zhurong” was chosen after an internet search and refers to the god of fire in Chinese mythology. The symbolism is justified by the Chinese name for Mars: “Huxing”, literally, “planet of fire.”

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