China's Zhurong rover lands on Mars, joins U.S. as only nations to successfully land on planet

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Zhurung lands on Mars

China became the second country in the world to successfully land a rover on Mars after its Zhurong craft touched down on the red planet.

Named after the Chinese god of fire, Zhurong was aboard the Tianwen-1 spacecraft that launched from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site in China on July 23, 2020. It entered Mars' orbit in February before finally landing around 7:18 p.m. ET on Friday.

It took more than 17 minutes after the rover opened its solar panels and antenna for signals to traverse the distance between Mars and Earth, according to the Associated Press.

China now joins the United States in countries that have successfully landed a rover on Mars. The U.S. first landed on the planet in 2004 and currently has the Curiosity and Perseverance rovers on Mars.

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