Zhurong rover, which is a part of China's Tianwen-1 mission, landed on Mars on May 14. This 240-kilogram rover has been exploring the Utopia Planitia plain after it was deployed on May 21. The China National Space Administration (CNSA) has been regularly posting updates of this mission, but today it dropped a video along with the sounds from Mars.
The footage starts with the lander's entry into the Martian atmosphere aided by a supersonic parachute. It is then, followed by the separation, and finally the powered landing. The next part of the video shows Zhurong rover's descend from the lander. You also get to hear the sound coming from the friction between Zhurong's wheels and the Martian surface. The equipment used for picking up this audio will later come in handy to analyze Martian winds.
To study the Martian geology and topography, the rover is loaded with spectroscopy instruments, cameras, ground-penetrating radar, and a magnetometer. The data sent by the rover, including this latest video, gets relayed via the Tianwen-1 orbiter. Due to the vast distance of millions of miles between the Earth and Mars, the data transfer rates are painfully slow.
With the Tianwen-1 mission, China has become the second nation after the US, to soft-land a rover on Mars. The information gathered from this mission will be crucial for China's future space missions. According to the Chinese state-run media Global Times and CGTN (earlier known as CCTV), the country is planning to launch its first crewed mission to Mars in 2033.