Zhurong stepping away from its wireless camera. Gif - CNSA/Gizmodo
China National Space Administration (CNSA), has released new footage from the ongoing Tianwen-1 Mission, which includes sounds of rover action.
CNSA released the footage on Sunday, June 27. It shows the parachute deployment and descent, landing, deployment of Zhurong rover to surface, and a sweet shot showing the six-wheeled vehicle moving away from its wireless camera. The Tianwen-1 mission, China's first to Mars, was launched in July 2020. It reached orbit around Mars on Feb 10, 2021.
The landing of the Perseverance on May 15th is documented in the first video. It features views from three cameras. The video is similar to NASA's Perseverance landing footage earlier in the year. It shows the deployment of the parachute and the separation of the shell. To record the landing, the rovers obstacle avoidance camera was used. The Tianwen-1 satellite orbiting around Mars relays media captured during the mission to Earth.
The second video has both audio and visuals. As the rover approaches the Martian surface, it can be seen and heard driving down a ramp. The footage was captured by the Mars exploration program's front and rear cameras. A microphone recorded the audio. This will allow scientists to examine the Martian environment.
According to a CNSA statement, Zhurong's sound is mainly due to the driving mechanism, friction between the wheels, ramp and ground and the friction between them and the ground. It is reminiscent of the sound recorded during flight of NASA's Ingenuity helicopter. The muffled sound is because there is not much atmosphere on Mars for sound waves to work with.
The third video was captured just before a selfie that showed Zhurong as well as the landing platform. The rover is seen retreating after putting the wireless camera on the surface. This is in preparation for the selfie.
Selfie of the Zhurong Rover and its landing platform. Image courtesy of CNSA
Zhurong, who has been on Mars since Martian Day 42, has traveled 774 feet (236 meters) in total. According to CNSA, both Zhurong and the orbiter are in excellent working order. CNSA estimates that the mission will last for 90 days. During this time, the rover will examine the Red Planet's climate, geology, and internal structure. It will also search for subsurface water ice.
More: Perseverance rover begins searching for life on Mars with its ingenuity.