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China to announce name of its 1st Mars rover

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Beijing, April 19 (IANS) Bejing will announce the name of its first Mars rover on the Space Day of China, which falls on April 24, according to authorities on Monday.

Nanjing, capital city of Jiangsu province, will host the main events marking this year’s Space Day of China, Lyu Bo, an official of the China National Space Administration (CNSA), said while addressing a press conference on Monday.

The events include the opening ceremony, bilateral talks on the international lunar research station, and the fourth China Space Conference, reports Xinhua news agency.

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The name of China’s first Mars rover will be announced at the opening ceremony on Saturday, Lyu said.

China launched Tianwen-1 on July 23, 2020.

The spacecraft, consisting of an orbiter, a lander and a rover, entered the parking orbit of Mars after performing an orbital manoeuver on February 24.

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The global campaign of naming the rover kicked off last July.

Netizens at home and abroad were invited to vote for their favorite among 10 candidates from January 20 to February 28.

Last month, three possible names emerged, with “Zhurong”, a fire god in ancient Chinese mythology, topping the list.

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–IANS

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