BEIJING, May 15 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday extended congratulations on the successful landing of China's first probe on Mars.
On behalf of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, the State Council and the Central Military Commission (CMC), Xi, also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee and chairman of the CMC, extended warm congratulations and sincere greetings to all members who have participated in the Mars exploration mission, Tianwen-1, in a congratulatory message.
Xi said in the message that the landing marks an important step in China's interstellar exploration and a leap from the exploration of the Earth-Moon system to interplanetary exploration.
"The landing left a Chinese mark on Mars for the first time. It is another landmark progress in China's space industry development," said Xi.
"Thanks to your courage in face of challenges and pursuit of excellence, China is now among the leading countries in planetary exploration," Xi said in the message. "The country and people will always remember your outstanding achievements."
Xi stressed organizing and implementing the roving and scientific exploration on Mars carefully, adhering to the self-reliance in sci-tech development, and pushing forward major space projects including planetary exploration.
He also called for boosting China's strength in space technology and making new and greater contributions to exploring the mysteries of the universe and promoting the noble cause of peace and development of humanity.
Vice Premier Han Zheng, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, witnessed the landing at the Beijing Aerospace Control Center.
Vice Premier Liu He, also a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, read out the congratulatory message.
Tianwen-1, consisting of an orbiter, a lander and a rover, was launched from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site on the coast of southern China's island province of Hainan on July 23, 2020, with the aim of completing orbiting, landing and roving on the red planet in one mission.
The spacecraft entered the Mars orbit in February 2021 and spent about three months surveying the planet.
The successful landing marks China's first landing on an extraterrestrial planet and makes it the second country of a successful Mars landing.
The China National Space Administration has cooperated with international space organizations like European Space Agency and the national space agencies of Argentina, France and Austria. Enditem