China has confirmed the successful touchdown of its rover named Zhurong on Mars.
The spacecraft – which took approximately seventeen minutes to unfold its solar panels, and send a signal back to planet Earth was said to have targeted a vast terrain in the planet’s northern hemisphere called ‘Utopia Planitia’.
Before now, only the Americans had mastered the technique of landing a rover on Mars. The Zhurong applied a touchdown technique aided by a protective capsule, a parachute and a rocket platform.
Prior to its landing, the spacecraft had to survey Utopia; taking high-resolution images to access the safest position to land.
China President – Xi Jinping also gave a brief congratulatory message to the team, following the fit achieved.
“You were brave enough for the challenge, pursued excellence and placed our country in the advanced ranks of planetary exploration,” he said.