China says it has successfully put its Tianwen-1 mission in orbit around Mars.
It’s the first time the country has managed to get a spacecraft to the red planet and comes a day after the United Arab Emirates accomplished the same feat.
Tianwen-1, or “questions to heaven”, comprises an orbiter and a rover.
Wednesday’s orbit insertion underlines again the rapid progress China’s space programme is making.
It follows December’s impressive mission to retrieve rock and soil samples from earth’s moon – by any measure a very complex undertaking.
In contrast to the Emiratis’ live TV coverage on Tuesday, china chose to report the orbit insertion at mars only after it had occurred.
China is following the strategy employed by the Americans for their successful Viking landers in the mid-1970s.
The idea then was to make orbit first and only later send a robot to the surface.
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