Paris, 20 May 2021. – He did not welcome the uncontrolled return of China’s Long March launcher pieces for its Mars mission, but he congratulated China for the release of its first photos from the Zhurong Mars rover.
“Congratulations to the China National Space Administration on receiving the first images from the Zhurong Mars rover,” the new NASA Administrator Bill 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,” Nelson said. “I look forward to future international discoveries, which will help inform and develop the capabilities needed to land human boots on Mars.”
China’s successful landing of the Zhurong rover last week makes it only the second nation to ever land successfully on Mars. Zhurong joins active NASA missions – the Curiosity and Perseverance rovers and Insight Lander – in exploring the surface of the Red Planet, NASA said.