It’s hard to explore other planets, which is why only a few nations on earth have ever done it. While NASA has multiple rovers on the surface of Mars and has for years, China landed its first rover on the Red Planet this year. China has now released landing process footage from the rover and video and sounds of the vehicle cruising around on Mars.
Footage shared shows the entry, descent, and landing, including the deployment of a supersonic disc-gap-band parachute. The separation of the back shell, the powered descent, and the hazard-avoidance hover phase and landing can all be seen in the video embedded in the tweet below. One of the cooler aspects of the video is that it also offers sounds made by the rover. The sounds were created by the metal-on-metal interaction of a rack and pinion system as recorded by the rover’s climate station.
The climate station was designed to capture the sounds of Martian winds. China isn’t the first country to capture the sounds made by its rover while it explores the surface of Mars. NASA’s Perseverance rover captured and shared similar sounds back in March. China placed its 240-kilogram Zhurong rover on the Martian Utopia Planitia on May 14.
The rover deployed from its lander on May 21 before conducting a weeklong series of self-checks and analyzing its environment. The rover has six wheels and is powered by solar energy. Since deploying, it has covered 236 meters of distance.
One of the interesting aspects of the Zhurong rover is that it is capable of independent driving on Mars. It’s able to judge the best path ahead based on its image analysis and makes a judgment for roughly every meter of driving.