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China Reaches on Mars Moon Without CPEC: China’s 1st Mars Rover shows images of Chinese flag & more

China is the second country to land and operate a spacecraft on Mars, after the United States.

China National Space Administration (CNSA) released four pictures of the dusty, rocky Martian surface and a Chinese rover and lander bearing small national flags on Friday that the rover took on the red planet.

The pictures released by the CNSA also show the upper stage of the Zhurong rover and the view from the rover before it rolled off its platform.

CNSA said that Zhurong placed a remote camera about 10 meters from the landing platform, then withdrew to take a group portrait.

Last month, China landed the Tianwen-1 spacecraft carrying the rover on Mars after it spent about three months orbiting the red planet. China is the second country to land and operate a spacecraft on Mars, after the United States.

The orbiter and lander both display small Chinese flags and the lander has outlines of the mascots for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics and Paralympics.

At 1.85m in height, Zhurong is significantly smaller than the US’s Perseverance rover which is exploring the planet with a tiny helicopter. NASA expects its rover to collect its first sample in July for a return to Earth as early as 2031.

In addition to the Mars mission, China’s ambitious space programme plans to send the first crew to its new space station next week. They will perform spacewalks, construction, and maintenance work and carry out science experiments.

Subsequent launches are planned to expand the station, send up supplies, and exchange crews.

Palwasha Khattak
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