NASA, which landed on Mars less than a week ago, broadcast the first of its kind audio recordings from the surface of the red planet.
NASA released the audio clips on Monday, along with unprecedented oneson the rover last Thursday and the most complex images ever taken on Mars.
Along with 25 on-board cameras, the rover also carries two microphones. One failed to work during the descent of the rover, but the other caught the sounds of the Martian wind blowing past it, as well as the rustling of the rover itself.
The audio fragment marks the first sound ever recorded on another planet.
“For those who are wondering how you land on Mars ̵
On the first recording, the sounds from the rover itself are more visible. In the second, NASA filters the audio to make the sounds of Mars clearer.
“Imagine sitting on the surface of Mars and listening to the surroundings,” said Dave Gruel, lead engineer for the rover’s camera and microphone subsystem, during a news briefing. “It’s great. Really neat. Amazing, if you will.”
Gruel said he is particularly excited about the audio recordings, so people with visual impairments can still experience the same excitement of reaching Mars as those who can view images and videos.
Members of the mission team said Monday they hope to hear many more sounds from Mars, including wind, storms, falling rocks and the sound of Persistence’s wheels as it moves or its training as it digs into the Martian surface.
Audio can also signal scientists how wellfunction and potentially identify problems with the rover. But due to the harsh conditions on Mars, scientists warn that the microphones may not last the duration of the mission.
Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, said the recordings were “the closest you can get to landing on Mars without wearing a pressure suit.”
Scientists have tried to hear Mars before. The microphones traveled twice to the red planet – the polar apparatus on Mars failed and the microphone aboard the Phoenix Lander was never turned on.
In 2018, the box office of NASA Insight Mars unexpectedlyof Martian wind vibrations using an air pressure sensor and a seismometer But Persistence has captured the real thing from the surface of Mars using “commercially ready” microphones specifically dedicated to capturing audio.
Perseverance will soon start working to hunt for signs of ancient life in Jezero Crater. And in a decade he plans to be the firstfrom the red planet back to Earth.