China drives its rover on the surface of Mars
China became the second country to successfully deploy a vehicle on Mars on Saturday, and the first to do so on its inaugural visit to the Red Planet. Reuters reported that the solar-powered Zhurong rover drove down the ramp of its landing capsule on to the surface of Mars at about 10:40 AM Beijing time.
Zhurong first landed on Mars earlier this month and started its journey on Mars’ surface on Utopia Planitia, a smooth plain where NASA’s Viking 2 lander touched down in 1976. That’s more than 1,200 miles from the Jezero Crater where the US rover Perseverance touched down in February. A third rover, NASA’s Curiosity, which landed on Mars in 2012, was spotted by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter climbing up Mars’ Mont Mercou last month, S…