The US isn’t the only country sending video from Mars. SpaceNews reports that China has released both video and audio from the Zhurong rover’s early forays on the Red Planet. The clips cover the landing as well as the deployment and initial movement. There’s also a panorama revealing just how far Zhurong has traveled (about 774 feet in total) from its landing platform.
As with sounds from NASA’s Perseverance, you shouldn’t expect an extraterrestrial symphony. You’re mainly listening to the mechanisms and the sound of wheels on the exit ramp, with Mars’ thin atmosphere also skewing the results. Mars audio remains extremely rare, though, so the mission crew can’t exactly be picky.
There’s little doubt the footage is as much about bragging rights as anything. Zhurong is part of China’s first truly independent mission to another planet, and the country no doubt wants to highlight its accomplishments in as much detail as possible. Between this and Perseverance, though, it’s also clear that Mars exploration has changed in recent years. It’s not enough to provide a handful of photos — an audiovisual experience is increasingly becoming par for the course.
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