Official media said China landed its spacecraft on Mars for the first time
China’s first landing of a spacecraft on Mars is the latest development in its space program.
The official Xinhua News Agency said on Saturday that the lander had landed, citing the China National Space Administration.
The plan requires the rover to stay on the lander for a few days, then perform a diagnostic test, and then descend the ramp to explore the icy area of ??Mars, called “Utopia Planitia” (Utopia Planitia). It will join the United States, which will arrive on the Red Planet in February.
China’s first landing on Mars followed the launch of the main part of the permanent space station last month, and the mission was brought back from the moon in the second half of last year.
When announcing the landing on one of its social media accounts, Xinhua News Agency said: “China has left a footprint on Mars for the first time. This is an important step for my country’s space exploration.”
Since 1976, the United States has successfully made 9 landings on Mars. The Soviet Union landed on Earth in 1971, but the mission failed because the aircraft stopped transmitting information shortly after landing.
Currently, a rover and a small helicopter that landed in the United States in February are exploring Mars. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) predicts that the rover will collect its first samples in July to return to Earth within ten years.
China has landed on the moon before, but landing on Mars is much more difficult because of its very thin atmosphere.
Spacecraft must use heat shields to prevent the scorching heat of reentry, and the speed of receding rockets and parachutes must be slow enough to prevent collisions and landing. The parachute and rocket must be deployed at the right time to land at the designated location.
Only a miniature retro rocket is needed to land on the moon, and a parachute alone is enough to return to the larger atmosphere of the Earth.