Rover Zhurong captured images, videos, and sounds from Mars. On June 27th, the Chinese Space Agency (CNSA), on the eve of the centenary of the Communist Party, released a collection of these findings from the Tianwen-1 mission. The rover, which landed in the plains of Utopia Planitia on May 14th, remained stationary on the Lander until May 21st. The week was necessary to allow engineers on Earth to carry out the usual checks before descending the metal ramps that delivered it to the red sands of Mars.
“Tianwen-1 orbiter has been in orbit for 338 days at a distance of 360 million kilometers from Earth. The rover Zhurong has worked on the surface of Mars for 42 sols and has traveled a total of 236 meters. The orbiter and the rover on Mars are in good condition. It gives confidence to the party and the motherland, sending blessings on the occasion of the centenary” reads the statement from the Chinese agency CNSA.
The images and sounds from the Zhurong Rover
The series of videos and images recorded on Mars by the Zhurong rover, released by the CNSA, begins with the landing frames from May 15, 2021. Camera captures the parachute opening phase. The video then documents the loss and subsequent ignition of the retro-rockets. Finally, images of contact with the Martian surface arrive.
On May 22, 2021, the Zhurong rover successfully descended from the Lander platform and reached the surface of Mars. The front and rear cameras of the Rover recorded the movement, while the microphone acquired the ambient sound. The sounds heard in the video are caused by the ignition process of the rover’s guidance mechanism, the descent on the ramp, and the movement on the surface of Mars.
One of Zhurong’s most interesting features is the WiFi camera. On June 1, 2021, the camera positioned on the Martian surface took a historic selfie of the landing platform and the rover. Once Zhurong reached the positioning zone, the WiFi camera was released in the chosen photo spot on the Martian surface. The WiFi camera first recorded the backward movement and then took the iconic photo.
“In the future, the rover will continue to perform movements, measurements, and scientific exploration as planned. The orbiter will continue to operate to provide a radio bridge useful for both data acquisition and instructing the rover on its operations to be performed” concludes the CNSA statement.