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China lands rover on Mars in first successful spacecraft mission


The entry capsule safely touched down in a flat plane on Mars’ surface at 7:18 a.m. Beijing time (7:18 p.m. Friday Eastern time), though it took about an hour for ground controllers to determine that the mission had been a success, state media reported. During the perilous journey through Mars’ atmosphere, the craft had to operate autonomously, and signals could not be transmitted back to ground control until the robotic rover had landed and unfolded its solar panels and antenna.



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