The landing module carrying China’s Tianwen-1 rover successfully landed on Mars, the country’s Xinhua news agency said on Saturday, quoting the China National Space Administration (CNSA).
The Tianwen-1 mission to Mars was launched atop the Long March 5 carrier rocket from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site on the coast of southern China’s island province of Hainan on July 23, 2020. It reached the orbit of Mars in February.
For China, this was the first probe landing on another planet.
The spacecraft entered Mars orbit in February after nearly seven months of flight and searched for a potential landing site for over two months.
The planned lifetime of the rover is 90 Martian days (solos), which is 2.7% more than Earth days. It will be powered by four solar panels. The speed of movement of the Chinese rover reaches 200 meters per hour.
The Chinese rover is equipped with multispectral cameras for navigation and topographic surveying, a subsurface sensing radar for studying the geological structure of Mars up to 10 meters depth, an instrument for analyzing the chemical composition of the soil and searching for biomolecules, as well as magnetic field detectors and a weather station. As expected, the rover will be able to transmit the first data on the exploration of the planet as early as this year.
China became the third country to land a rover on the planet’s surface, after the USSR (now Russia) and the United States.