China’s first Mars rover has driven down from its landing platform and is roaming the surface of the red planet, China’s space administration said on Saturday. The solar-powered rover touched Martian soil at 10.40am on Saturday, the China National Space Administration said. China landed the spacecraft carrying the Zhu Rong rover on Mars last Saturday , a feat more difficult than a moon landing, in a first for the country. Named after the Chinese god of fire, the rover ran diagnostics tests for several days before it began its exploration on Saturday. It is expected to be deployed for 90 days to search of evidence of life. The US also has an ongoing Mars mission, with the Perseverance rover and a tiny helicopter exploring the planet. Nasa expects the rover to collect its first sample in July for return to Earth in a decade. China has ambitious space plans that include launching a crewed orbital station and landing a human on the moon. In 2019, China became the first country to land a space probe on the little-explored far side of the moon, and in December returned lunar rocks to Earth for the first time since the 1970s.