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A model of the Tianwen-1 Mars rover is displayed during an exhibition at the National Museum of China in Beijing. Photo: Wang Zhao/AFP via Getty Images

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.

Go deeper

Aug 17, 2021 - Science
How It Happened

Introducing How it Happened Season Two: The Next Astronauts

In How it Happened: The Next Astronauts, Axios space reporter Miriam Kramer follows the first space flight to orbit without professional astronauts.

Kramer will take listeners inside the story of the Inspiration4 mission, which SpaceX aims to launch on Sept. 15.

1 dead, 14 injured in shooting at Kroger grocery store near Memphis

One person was killed and 14 others were injured Thursday in a shooting at a Kroger grocery store in Collierville, Tenn., near Memphis, the town's spokesperson Jennifer Casey said, per CNN.

What they're saying: "I've been involved in [police work] for 34 years and I have never seen anything like [this]," Police Chief Dale Lane said at a press conference.

3 hours ago - Health

CDC panel recommends Pfizer boosters for high-risk individuals, people 65 and up

Photo: Marco Bello/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A key panel at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday recommended the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus booster shots for people 65 years old and older, as well as those at high risk of severe COVID-19.

Why it matters: The approval is the near-final step in making the booster shots available to tens of millions of Americans, and comes a day after the FDA approved Pfizer boosters for the two groups. CDC director Rochelle Walensky is expected to announce her recommendation soon.

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