NASA’s Perseverance rover has been pretty busy since it landed on Mars. The rover endured seven minutes of terror to land on the red planet and has since sent back the first images of its new home. Adding to that data are the first audio samples from the surface of Mars.
Listen to the sound of Mars
One of the many missions the Perseverance rover has been sent to complete is the first audio recordings of Mars’ surface. The rover is equipped with two microphones: an Entry Descent and Landing (EDL) microphone and a SuperCam Microphone.
The EDL microphone is designed to specifically capture the sounds of the rover’s landing on Mars. The SuperCam toolkit will help to study the rocks and soil of Mars.
Today the rover sent back its first audio samples from Mars.
— NASA's Perseverance Mars Rover (@NASAPersevere) February 22, 2021
The clips are short and the sounds are rather minimal. But just the fact that these recordings have come all the way from Mars is pretty amazing in itself.
According to NASA’s post on SoundCloud, “this set of sounds from the surface of Mars were recorded by the microphone on the side of NASA’s Perseverance Rover on February 20, 2021. In the first set, sounds from the rover itself dominate. In the second set, the sound was filtered to make sounds from Mars more audible. You can hear a little wind in the second set.”
In the weeks to come, Perseverance’s microphones will help it to gather rock and soil samples. The rover will fire lasers at different rocks and the sounds each rock makes will be recorded by its microphones which will help scientists to understand each rock’s geological makeup.
The microphones also pick up the sounds that the rover itself is making which can help to keep track of the health and quality of Perseverance’s instruments.
Along with the first audio recordings, NASA also released the first video footage of the Perseverance rover’s miraculous landing on Mars. You can keep up with the Perseverance’s travels via its Twitter account.