PHOTOS: NASA congratulates China on successful Zhurong Mars rover mission

STEM

Visitors pass by an exhibition depicting rovers on Mars in Beijing on Friday, May 14, 2021. China says its Mars probe and accompanying rover are to land on the red planet sometime between early Saturday morning and Wednesday Beijing time. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

The first images from China’s Zhurong rover have been released to the applause of U.S. space officials.

According to a new statement from NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, Zhurong’s successful landing last week makes China the second nation to successfully land on the Red Planet.

“Congratulations to the China National Space Administration on receiving the first images from the Zhurong Mars rover!” Nelson said. “As the international scientific community of robotic explorers on Mars grows, the United States and the world look forward to the discoveries Zhurong will make to advance humanity’s knowledge of the Red Planet.”

China’s Zhurong rover joins active NASA missions – including the Curiosity and Perseverance rovers and Insight Lander – in exploring Mars.

“I look forward to future international discoveries, which will help inform and develop the capabilities needed to land human boots on Mars,” Nelson concluded.

View the photos from the Zhurong rover here:

In this photo taken by China’s Zhurong Mars rover and made available by the China National Space Administration (CNSA) on Wednesday, May 19, 2021, the rover’s solar panels and antenna are deployed as the rover sits on its lander on the surface of Mars. China landed a spacecraft on Mars for the first time on Saturday, a technically challenging feat more difficult than a moon landing, in the latest step forward for its ambitious goals in space. (CNSA via AP)
In this black and white photo taken by China’s Zhurong Mars rover and made available by the China National Space Administration (CNSA) on Wednesday, May 19, 2021, extension arms and a departure ramp are deployed on the rover’s lander on the surface of Mars. China landed a spacecraft on Mars for the first time on Saturday, a technically challenging feat more difficult than a moon landing, in the latest step forward for its ambitious goals in space. (CNSA via AP)

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