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China Shares First Photos of the Red Planet Taken by Mars Explorer

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China today released the first photos taken by unmanned explorer Zhurong after landing on Mars. One of the photos shows the front of the cart and its new workplace, the Utopia Planitia plateau.


The Zhurong landed on Mars on Saturday. China is the third country to land a “robber” on the red planet successfully. Previously, only the Soviet Union and the United States succeeded. Europe wants to join that group in 2023.

The hundreds of millions of kilometres long crossing to Mars is already difficult, but the last minutes before landing are even more difficult. Vessels shoot into the atmosphere of Mars at high speed, after which they have to slow down in a short period of time to land gently on the ground eventually.

Utopia Planitia was created billions of years ago by the impact of space rock. There may have once been an ocean. Deep underground, there may be ice now. The Chinese scout is named after a mythical fire god. The mobile laboratory is full of scientific instruments.

With this, China wants to find traces of life and map the surface and soil of Mars. Beijing also wants to show its great ambitions in space. Among other things, the country wants to build its own space station in the coming years. That is called Tiangong (Heavenly Palace).

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