China has released footage of the landing process of Zhurong. Zhurong is a rover that landed on Mars in May. The country has also released videos and sounds of Zhurong roving on the Red Planet. The footage starts from the entry of the lander. It is followed by a descent and a landing. The lander deploying a supersonic disk-gap-band parachute is visible in the video. Besides, the separation of the backshell and its powered descent could be seen in the footage. The video also features the lander’s hazard-avoidance hover phase before it is landed on the surface. China launched the Tianwen-1 mission in July last year. It delivered an orbiter in February and the orbiter delivered a rover on the plains of Utopia Planitia in May.
The video also has a sound of the rover’s descent from its landing platform. The sounds were generated due to the metal interaction of a rack and pinion system. The rover’s climate station recorded the sound. The space station will record the sounds of winds on Mars. Scientists will do an in-depth analysis of the sound to understand Mars’ environment and condition. They believe that the sound will tell more about the density of the planet’s atmosphere. Zhurong rover weighs 240 kgs. It successfully landed on May 14 but the deployment took place a week later on May 21. Scientists checked its equipment for one week and declared that the rover is in a good condition. The rover has since then sent several pictures of Mars including a selfie.
Zhurong is a six-wheeled robot. It is powered by solar energy. It has covered 236 meters on the planet’s surface since its arrival. Zhurong is part of China’s first independent interplanetary mission Tianwen-1. China is the second country in the world that has landed a rover on Mars. The United States so far held the record of operating multiple rovers of the Red Planet. China has now announced that it will launch a crewed mission to Mars by 2033. The plan also includes sending regular follow-up flights. It wants to set up a permanent base on Mars. The objective is to explore the planet for possible human inhabitation. Crews will extract water beneath the planet’s surface, generate oxygen, and produce electricity. Notably, NASA’s Perseverance rover too had captured similar sounds when it arrived at the plant in March.