BEIJING (AP) – China has landed the spacecraft for the first time on Mars in the latest advance for its space program.
The official Xinhua news agency said on Saturday that the lander had been touched down, citing China’s National Space Administration.
Plans call for a few days of diagnostic tests on a rover lander before rolling down a curve to explore the icy region of Mars known as Utopia Planetia. It will join an American company that came to the Red Planet in February.
China’s first Mars landing last month launched a permanent space station and the main part of what will be a mission to bring rocks from the moon late last year. The United States has had nine successful landings on Mars since 1976.