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China Shares More Photos, Video, and Audio from its Mars Zhurong Rover

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While NASA’s Mars Perseverance Rover has been largely stealing the global spotlight, China’s Zhurong rover has been making waves of its own. China has recently shared more photos, video, and audio of its Mars rover, and at least one clip has a rather unique perspective.

According to SpaceNews, the Zhurong rover has traveled 236 meters on the surface of the Red Planet since it successfully landed in Utopia Planitia on May 14. And while it’s clear the rover is indeed on the planet, newly released footage shows the successful parachute deployment of the rover from orbit to the planet’s surface.

If that angle looks familiar, that’s because it’s very similar to what NASA shared in mid-February when the Perseverance Rover performed a similar feat. This new footage of Zhurong along with a mission update was published by the China National Space Administration (CNSA) over the weekend.

“On May 15, China’s first Mars exploration mission Tianwen-1 Landing Patrol successfully landed on Mars,” the release states. “The parachute monitoring camera, fire-fall monitoring camera, and obstacle avoidance camera carried were recorded for the parachute and shows the parachute opening and throwing, dynamic deceleration, and obstacle avoidance process.”

The CNSA also released two new photos, one a panorama which shows the surrounding horizon of the rover’s location and another that is designed to show the distance the rover has traveled (its tracks lead far back over the horizon).

Perseverance marks the first rover NASA has deployed that can record sound, but it’s not the only rover with that capability. The Zhurong also can record audio, and the video below allows you to look at a series of photos and listen to the sounds of the rover at the same time. The audio mainly consists of the sounds of the rover’s operation.

What makes the Zhurong Rover notably different from NASA’s Perseverance is its ability to capture unique angles thanks to a deployable, wireless camera. This camera was used earlier in June to allow the rover to take a unique selfie (pictured in the header image above) that did not require the use of a robotic arm, but that wasn’t its only neat trick. As seen in the video below, that deployable camera also was able to take high-resolution video.

The Tianwen-1, the CNSA’s Mars orbiter, passes over the Zhurong’s location on Utopia Planitia once per sol cycle to perform a data relay. Zhurong’s mission is slated to last about 92 Earth days and its main goal is to find and return data on water-ice deposits, weather, topography and geology, and associated sciences for future missions.


Image credits: Photos courtesy of the CNSA.

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