In it, Zhurong drives through the Martian desert and records strange sounds. In addition, the National Space Agency explains technical details of the vehicle and its tasks.
In the first pictures in May, fans noticed similarities to the fictional robots Wall-E and Johnny from “Number 5 Lives” – now there is news of the supposedly cute Martian vehicle Zhurong. On the eve of the Communist Party’s 100th birthday, the Chinese space agency CSNA released a panoramic image of the southern horizon of the Utopia Planitia lowland and a series of videos. Among them are the rover’s drive from the landing platform and one over the surface of Mars. In addition, the agency released the first sound recordings. It explains, “The noise from the ride comes mainly from the propulsion mechanism, the friction between the wheel and the ramp, and between the wheel and the surface.” The U.S. magazine Space summarized the recordings in a video:
Remote WLAN camera films
The scientists were able to successfully complete another maneuver. The rover dropped off a camera that photographed it and the landing platform and recorded the vehicle’s backward movement, including its turn, on video. These are the first images to show the Mars vehicle driving. The remote-controlled rover, in turn, controls the remote camera and was thus able to shoot the selfies. According to Heise, a CSNA employee revealed that unlike its brothers and sisters on the Moon, Zhurong can evaluate its own camera footage itself and, based on that, decide whether the surface ahead appears passable.
The god of fire searches for water
Zhurong is named after the god of fire in ancient Chinese mythology. The Middle Kingdom calls Mars the Fire Planet because of its color. The rover, which is the size of a golf caddy, will spend about three months shooting high-resolution 3D images of the landscape and analyzing the composition of the surface. Its research areas also include subsurface structure and the magnetic field. CSNA will also use him to search for traces of ice and make meteorological observations. He will be supported by a satellite in Mars orbit, which will take atmospheric measurements and map the red planet.