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China lands rover on Mars, becoming third nation to do so

The United States and former Soviet Union were first to do so.

Updated: May 14, 2021 - 9:27pm

China said Friday night that it had landed its first rover on Mars, the third nation to have successfully done so after the United States and the former Soviet Union. 

The Xinhua News Agency announced the spacecraft’s touchdown, three months after NASA  landed its sixth such vehicle on the red planet since 1976. The Soviet Union managed one successful landing in 1971 but the vehicle did not operate long. 

China plans to keep its Zhurong rover in the landing capsule for a few days before deploying it to explore the planet’s icy Utopia Planitia.

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