China has become the first country after the USA to successfully land a space rover on Mars.
The six-wheeled Zhurong rover landed on the planet just before midnight on Friday (UK time), according to Chinese state media.
It’s a big deal because until now only the USA had managed to do the same successfully. All the other countries that tried either had their rover crash or lost contact with it soon after it reached the surface.
Chinese President Xi Jinping congratulated the mission team on its “outstanding achievement.”
The Zhurong rover was carried to the planet on the Tianwen-1 spacecraft, which arrived above Mars in February.
The spacecraft then spent time taking images of the planet’s surface to decide on the safest place to land its rover.
Finally, using a parachute, a rocket platform and a protective capsule to help it land, Zhurong has made touchdown on the Martian surface.
It took 17 minutes to unfold its solar panels and then send a signal back to Earth.
Scientists will try to get at least 90 Martian days of work out of Zhurong – getting it to study the area around it using all the special tech it has.
These include a laser tool to zap rocks to find out what they’re made of and a radar to look for water-ice beneath the surface!
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