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China Mars rover Zhu Rong successfully lands on red planet

SCMP, 15 May 2021
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China's Mars rover Zhu Rong successfully landed on the red planet on May 15, 2021 after “nine minutes of terror” – Nasa’s name for the interval when engineers on Earth have no control or oversight of the rover because of radio signal delay. This means the rover must land without human intervention. Launched into orbit in the summer of 2020, the spacecraft circled Mars before attempting a landing.

An American rover, Perseverance, landed on Mars a few months earlier and is still active, raising competition between China and the US on Earth and in space. Zhu Rong’s next mission is to collect and analyse data on Mars’ climate and geology.

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