Sci/Tech

China Allegedly Copied The Mars Rover Animation From A 2011 NASA Video

The shot-by-shot comparison shows many similarities between the two videos.

  • China’s animated video of the Zhurong rover landing on Mars recently caught some controversy.
  • Observers noted that the video looked very similar to a 2011 NASA video featuring the Curiosity rover.
  • Social media netizens in China and other countries have since bashed the country over alleged plagiarism.

With the Zhurong rover’s recent Mars landing, China officially became the second country in history to successfully land a spacecraft on the Red Planet. The achievement, however, has also been plagued by controversy as observers pointed out that the official landing animation released by the Chinese space agency closely resembles that of an old NASA video.

Apparently, the animated footage was made by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation’s (CASC) Fifth Academy and has since been shown on state-run news outlets in the country. The 2-minute video depicted the separation of the Mars orbiter and the lander, along with the landing of the rover on Mars.

Critics, however, believe that China’s animation was copied straight from the one produced by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) back in 2011 as a preparation for Curiosity rover’s Mars landing in August 2012.

Obviously, China’s video features higher quality of animation but people still couldn’t help but make comparisons as the two clips had similar effects, framing, composition, lighting, and timing.

Social media netizens in China were quick to condemn the alleged ‘plagiarism,’ with someone commenting:

“This is a simple copy-paste job of NASA JPL’s June 2011 video. To publish a video like this is to humiliate the Chinese space program.”

Another said:

“You can’t just copy the entire script like that!”

Newsweek‘s official YouTube channel also posted a video showing the two clips side by side and some commenters also ended up bashing the Chinese version.

“Only in China where they copy every single thing and when you call them out they call it fake news,” a user wrote. “CCP = Cut, Copy and Paste,” joked a second commenter.

Meanwhile, the news outlet also reached out to NASA for a reaction about the controversial topic but a spokesperson only said “NASA’s imagery is made freely available for use by the public” without giving any further explanation.

You can watch the video here:

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