China Releases Sound and Video of its Rover Landing

The Perseverance rover's landing on Mars was captured in stunning video. CNSA, the Chinese National Space Administration, has released similar footage from the Zhurong rover. It also includes sounds that were recorded as the rover sailed through the Martian atmosphere to land in Utopia Planitia. CNSA also released sounds from the rover as it drove off the landing platform.Update on Zhurong: This is the complete footage of Zhurong's EDL. It shows parachute deployment, backshell separation and landing. There's even a cool hover in the hazard avoidance phase. Andrew Jones, @AJ_FI June 27, 2021This footage shows the parachute deployment and backshell separation as well as a view of the lander approaching Mars. The CNSA stated that the landing process was called the descent of the landing patrol in a press release.The parachute looks very similar to Perseverances chute's markings. The message Dare Mighty Things, which is a tagline for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, was originally taken from Theodore Roosevelt's speech.Its climate station captured the sounds of Zhurong's surface as it drove off the lander. This primarily was used to record wind sounds.CNSA stated that the audio contains live sounds from the powering up of the driving mechanism and the start of driving, driving on a ramp and driving onto Mars. The driving mechanism, friction between the wheels, ramp and ground are the main sources of the sound of the rover moving off.Perhaps the Mars atmosphere is weaker than the Earth's, which may explain why the sounds are muffled. Over the course of the three month-long mission, it will be fascinating to hear more sounds coming from Mars from Zhurong.This photo shows the tracks of the Mars rover Zhurong. Credit: Xinhua, CNSA.Perseverance was the first to use a functional microphone on Mars. At least three of the previous Mars missions included microphones in their designs. The first mission, which was launched aboard NASA's Mars Polar Lander in 1999, crashed on Mars. The French space agency CNES (CNES Netlander) was to have a similar microphone, but it was cancelled due to financial difficulties. A microphone was part of the descent imaging system on the Phoenix lander that touched down in 2008 near Mars' north pole. Engineers discovered a possible electronic problem in the microphone just before the mission launched. The mic was then deactivated.The video also includes footage from a remote Wifi camera the rover placed while it was still near the landing platform. The Zhurong rover returned to take a photo with the lander.This group photo was taken by a wireless camera and shows the Tianwen-1 lander in China, as well as the rover on Mars' surface. Credit: Chinese Space Agency