Xi sends congratulatory letter on Mars probe's historic landing

By Zhao Lei | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2021-05-15 08:41
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President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, sent a letter soon after the successful landing of Tianwen 1 probe on Mars was announced at the Beijing Aerospace Control Center on Saturday morning, extending congratulations and greetings to all those involved in the landmark mission.

The letter reads that the mission has left the nation's first mark on Mars, encouraging space workers to continue working hard for the mission's next steps.

A Chinese spacecraft successfully landed on the Martian surface on Saturday morning, marking a historic accomplishment in China's space endeavor.

According to the China National Space Administration, the Tianwen 1 robotic probe activated some of its engines around 1 am to move closer to Mars. At about 4 am, the craft separated into two parts – the landing capsule and the orbiter – with the landing capsule continuing to fly toward the Martian atmosphere.

Three hours later, the capsule, which holds China's first Martian rover, entered the red planet's thin atmosphere at an altitude of about 125 kilometers, embarking on the riskiest and most challenging nine minutes during the entire Tianwen 1 mission.

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