Reaching Mars is a highly difficult and challenging endeavor. The first successful landing was made by NASA’s Viking 1 in July 1976 and then by Viking 2 after two months in the same year.
Over the years, numerous robotic landers launched toward Mars have been lost due to technical glitches or failed components. Russia, India, and the European Union have succeeded in sending a spacecraft to Mars, but none of them landed on Mars.
Now after more than four decades, China’s Tianwen-1 lander carrying rover Zhurong has just landed on Mars. Tianwen-1, consists of an orbiter, a lander, and a rover.
China has become the second nation after the US to land a rover on the surface of the Red Planet. Remarkably, China landed on the red planet in its very first attempt.
The six-wheel solar-powered Zhurong rover is solar-powered. Zhurong is named after a god of fire and war in Chinese mythology. It weighs about 240 kilograms and carries cameras, radar, a magnetic field detector, weather instrumentation, and other scientific instruments. It will search for life on Mars’ surface in a three-month-long mission.