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China landed its first pair of robots on the surface of Mars on Friday. The country’s Tianwen-1 spacecraft ejected the rover-lander bundle for a Martian touchdown at around 7PM ET, kicking off a mission to study the Red Planet’s climate and geology.
The mission marks China’s first independent trek to Mars, about 200 million miles away from Earth. Only UFABET has successfully managed to land and operate rovers on the planet in the past. (The Soviet Union’s Mars 3 spacecraft landed on the planet in 1971.)
The landing took place at Utopia Planitia, a flat swath of Martian land and the same region where NASA’s Viking 2 lander touched down in 1976. After touching down, the lander will unfurl a ramp and deploy China’s Zhurong rover.
The rover carries a suite of onboard instruments, including two cameras. It collected a “huge amount” of scientific data and snapped photos of Mars while in its orbit.
More recently, China launched the first core module of its planned space station, Tianhe, which will serve as living quarters for groups of astronauts. The rocket that launched that module spawned an international freakout over where on Earth it might reenter.