NASA’s Perseverance Rover has recorded the Martian wind gusts, rover wheels crunching over gravel, and motors whirring as the spacecraft moves its arm. These sounds recorded by the rover allow scientists and engineers to experience the Red Planet in new ways and everyone is invited to listen in.
Baptiste Chide, a planetary scientist who studies data from the microphones at L’Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie in France said that the audio captured makes you feel that you are really there. Martian sounds have strong bass vibrations, so when you put on headphones, you can really feel it. Scientist also thinks that the microphones will be an important asset to future Mars and solar system science.
Perseverance Rover is the first spacecraft to record the sound of the Red Planet using dedicated microphones, both of which were commercially available, off-the-shelf devices. One rides on the side of the rover’s chassis. The second mic sits on Perseverance’s mast as a complement to the SuperCam laser instrument’s investigations of rocks and the atmosphere.
The body mic was provided by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, while the SuperCam instrument and its microphone were provided by the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico and a consortium of French research laboratories under the auspices of the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales. The microphone has already recorded more than 25,000 laser shots.SuperCam studies rocks and soil by zapping them with a laser, then analyzing the resulting vapour with a camera.