May 15, 2021 - Science
China makes history with successful Mars landing
A Chinese lander carrying a rover successfully touched down on Mars for the first time, state media reports.
Why it matters: This is the first time China has landed a spacecraft on another planet, and it launches the nation into an elite club of only a few space agencies to successfully make it to the Martian surface.
What’s happening: The rover arrived in orbit around the Red Planet in February with the country's Tianwen-1 mission.
- The rover is reportedly designed to search for water, ice and possible signs of life.
- This was China's first attempt to land on Mars.
The big picture: This mission fits into China’s broader plans in space.
- The nation is currently building a space station and is aiming to develop a research station on the Moon with Russia.