Saturday, May 15, 2021

China Completes Historic Mars Spacecraft Landing - Tasnim News Agency

(Tasnim) – An uncrewed Chinese spacecraft successfully landed on the surface of Mars on Saturday, state news agency Xinhua reported, making China the second space-faring nation after the United States to land on the Red Planet.


The Tianwen-1 spacecraft landed on a site on a vast plain known as Utopia Planitia, "leaving a Chinese footprint on Mars for the first time," Xinhua said.

Chinese President Xi Jinping issued a message of congratulations to all the people involved in the mission.

"You were brave enough for the challenge, pursued excellence and placed our country in the advanced ranks of planetary exploration," he said. "Your outstanding achievement will forever be etched in the memories of the motherland and the people."

The craft left its parked orbit at about 1700 GMT Friday (0100 Beijing time Saturday). The landing module separated from the orbiter three hours later and entered the Martian atmosphere, the official China Space News said, Reuters reported.

It said the landing process consisted of "nine minutes of terror" as the module decelerates and then slowly descends.

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