. 24/7 Space News .
DRAGON SPACE
'Nihao Mars': China's Zhurong rover touches down on Red Planet
By S´┐Żbastien RICCI
Beijing (AFP) May 15, 2021

China's probe to Mars touched down on the Red Planet early Saturday to deploy its Zhurong rover, state media reported, a triumph for Beijing's increasingly bold space ambitions and a history-making feat for a nation on its first-ever Martian mission.

The lander carrying Zhurong completed the treacherous descent through the Martian atmosphere using a parachute to navigate the "seven minutes of terror" as it is known, aiming for a vast northern lava plain known as the Utopia Planitia.

It "successfully landed in the pre-selected area", state broadcaster CCTV said, launching a special TV programme dedicated to the mission called "Nihao Mars" ("Hello Mars").

The official Xinhua news agency cited the China National Space Administration (CNSA) in confirming the touchdown.

It makes China the first country to carry out an orbiting, landing and roving operation during its first mission to Mars -- a feat unmatched by the only other two nations to reach the Red Planet so far, the US and Russia.

President Xi Jinping sent his "warm congratulations and sincere greetings to all members who have participated in the Mars exploration mission", Xinhua reported.

China has now sent astronauts into space, powered probes to the Moon and landed a rover on Mars, the most prestigious of all prizes in the competition for dominion of space.

- Three-month mission -

Zhurong, named after a Chinese mythical fire god, arrives a few months behind America's latest probe to Mars -- Perseverance -- as the show of technological might between the two superpowers plays out beyond the bounds of Earth.

Six-wheeled, solar-powered and weighing roughly 240 kilograms (530 pounds), the Chinese rover is on a quest to collect and analyse rock samples from Mars' surface.

The launch of China's Tianwen-1 Mars probe which carried the rover last July marked a major milestone in China's space programme.

The spacecraft entered Mars' orbit in February and after a prolonged silence state media announced it had reached the "crucial touchdown stage" on Friday.

The landing was set to be a nail-biter for the China National Space Administration (CNSA), with state media describing the process of using a parachute to slow descent and buffer legs as "the most challenging part of the mission".

It is expected to spend around three months there taking photos and harvesting geographical data.

The complicated landing process is called the "seven minutes of terror" because it happens faster than radio signals can reach Earth from Mars, meaning communications are limited.

"The distance was too far away that the spacecraft has to do it totally by itself," said Chen Lan, an independent analyst specialising in China's space programme. "If there was something wrong, people on the Earth have no way to help."

Several US, Russian and European attempts to land rovers on Mars have failed in the past, most recently in 2016 with the crash-landing of the Schiaparelli joint Russian-European spacecraft.

The latest successful arrival came in February, when US space agency NASA landed its rover Perseverance, which has since been exploring the planet.

The US rover launched a small robotic helicopter on Mars which was the first-ever powered flight on another planet.

China has come a long way in its race to catch up with the United States and Russia, whose astronauts and cosmonauts have decades of experience in space exploration.

It successfully launched the first module of its new space station last month with hopes of having it crewed by 2022 and eventually sending humans to the Moon.

Last week a segment of the Chinese Long March 5B rocket disintegrated over the Indian Ocean in an uncontrolled landing back to Earth.

That drew criticism from the United States and other nations for a breach of etiquette governing the return of space debris to Earth, with officials saying the remnants had the potential to endanger life and property.

burs-apj/leg/mtp


Related Links
The Chinese Space Program - News, Policy and Technology
China News from SinoDaily.com


Thanks for being there;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5+ Billed Monthly


paypal only
SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal


DRAGON SPACE
China wants to send spacecraft to edge of solar system to mark 100th year of PRC
Beijing (XNA) May 07, 2021
Chinese scientists are evaluating the feasibility of a project to send spacecraft to the edge of the solar system, said Wu Weiren, chief designer of China's lunar exploration program. According to the project, the Chinese spacecraft will cover a distance about 100 times than that between the sun and Earth by 2049, when the People's Republic of China celebrates its 100th founding anniversary, Wu said in a recent interview with industry newspaper China Space News. The distance from the sun to ... read more

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.



Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

DRAGON SPACE
Boeing's troubled Starliner capsule now aiming for July launch

Space aged: wine matured aboard ISS expected to sell for $1mn

NASA, Axiom Agree to First Private Astronaut Mission on Space Station

Blue Origin will fly first crew to space in July

DRAGON SPACE
Touchdown! SpaceX successfully lands Starship rocket

First Ariane 6 fairing at Europe's Spaceport

SpaceX signs deal with Google Cloud for satellite broadband

SpaceX to launch lunar mission paid with cryptocurrency Dogecoin

DRAGON SPACE
Seeing NASA's Ingenuity Mars Helicopter Fly in 3D

Perseverance's Robotic Arm Starts Conducting Science

Perseverance rover captures sound of Ingenuity flying on Mars

Volcanoes on Mars could be active, raise possibility of recent habitable conditions

DRAGON SPACE
China wants to send spacecraft to edge of solar system to mark 100th year of PRC

China's space station takes shared future concept to space

China launches space station core module Tianhe

Core capsule launched into orbit

DRAGON SPACE
Xplore opens 22,000 sq ft satellite manufacturing facility to advance satellite production

Spacecraft magnetic valve used to fill drinks

SpaceX launches 60 Starlink satellites from Florida

Egos clash in Bezos and Musk space race

DRAGON SPACE
Laser communications powers more data than ever before

Large Chinese rocket segment disintegrates over Indian Ocean

3D printing could be used in search for black holes

US watching Chinese rocket's erratic re-entry: Pentagon

DRAGON SPACE
How planets form controls elements essential for life

UBCO researcher uses geology to help astronomers find habitable planets

Hubble Watches How a Giant Planet Grows

First ever discovery of methanol in a warm planet-forming disk

DRAGON SPACE
Juice arrives at ESA's technical heart

New Horizons reaches a rare space milestone

New research reveals secret to Jupiter's curious aurora activity

NASA's Europa Clipper builds hardware, moves toward assembly









The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2024 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.