China’s first Mars rover is finally cruising

On the list of big surprises in space science over the past decade, the fact that China has rapidly become one of the major players in space exploration has to be near the top. The country, which watched for decades as the United States, Russia (and formerly, the Soviet Union), and European countries launched ever more advanced orbiters, landers, and rovers, has caught up to and in some cases surpassed its peers by completing some very difficult missions. The latest happens to be on Mars, where the China National Space Administration sent a trio of high-tech machines last year.

The orbiter, lander, and rover all arrived at Mars in February, right around the same time that NASA’s Perseverance rover showed up, but China’s hardware spent some time in orbit before the lander and rover were sent to the surface. Now that the lander has been sitting on the rust-colored dirt for nearly two weeks, the rover’s handlers back on Earth finally had a chance to set it loose, and the rover is now officially roving.

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China’s first Mars rover is finally cruising originally appeared on on Wed, 26 May 2021 at 23:06:15 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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