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An unmanned Chinese explorer successfully landed on the planet Mars on Saturday morning. This is reported by Chinese state media, which refer to the national space agency CNSA. The landing of Zhurong, as the explorer is called, is a triumph for Beijing, which has more and more ambitions in the field of space travel.

Zhurong had to go through the ‘seven minutes of terror’ to make a good landing. The drop through the Martian atmosphere is considered treacherous and has proved a bridge too far for a number of missions.

If all goes according to plan, the explorer will remain in the spacecraft for several more days for tests. He will then join an American scout who landed on the red planet in February. The goal is to explore an icy part of Mars known as Utopia Planitia.

China is the third country to successfully land a ‘rover’ on Mars, after the Soviet Union and the United States.