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China Space Conference ends, nation's 1st Mars rover named Zhurong

Baku, April 27, AZERTAC

The 2021 China Space Conference concluded in Nanjing, capital of East China's Jiangsu province, on Monday, according to chinadaily.com.cn.

The conference and a host of other activities opened Saturday morning to mark the sixth China Space Day, which falls on April 24 each year.

On April 24, 1970, China launched its first satellite, Dongfanghong 1. The day has since then been regarded as the beginning of the nation's space explorations.

More than 1,000 officials, enterprise representatives, diplomats and researchers took part in the opening ceremony on Saturday morning.

Zhang Kejian, head of the China National Space Administration, and Wu Zhenglong, provincial governor of Jiangsu, spoke at the event.

During the ceremony, the space administration announced that the nation's first Mars rover has been named "Zhurong", a figure in Chinese legend who was the god of fire in ancient times.

Ye Peijian, a preeminent scientist and leading spacecraft researcher at the China Academy of Space Technology, said at the occasion that Chinese scientists and engineers have begun to develop a robotic spacecraft to collect samples from 2016 HO3, an asteroid that is the smallest and closest "quasi-satellite" to Earth.

Wei Yiyin, deputy general manager of China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp, disclosed that the State-owned defense conglomerate is working on a reusable aerospace plane and intends to put it to commercial flight by 2030.

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