The Sounds of Mars: Hear the Wind and Crunch of Rover Wheels on the Red Planet – Universe Today

Two microphones aboard the Perseverance Rover have recorded “alien” sounds on Mars – the sounds of a human-made spacecraft crunching its wheels on the Red Planet’s floor, or its motors whirring, or blasts from its scientific laser instrument. Perseverance’s microphones have additionally captured the sounds of one other spacecraft – the Ingenuity helicopter – withdrawing. During the 5 or so hours recorded to date, you may hear the Martian wind gusting in the background.  
“We’ve been able to see Mars from the rovers’ point of view for a quite a long time now,” stated Greg Delory, a guide to the Mars 2020 rover microphone workforce, “so to have another ‘sense’ on Mars is pretty incredible.”

NASA and JPL have launched an interactive web site that provides listeners the probability to listen to the recordings from hundreds of thousands of kilometers/miles away on the Red Planet. You may hearken to how sounds from Earth would sound on Mars, and even report your personal greeting and hear the way you’d sound on Mars.

NASA recommends utilizing headphones whereas listening to the recordings (equivalent to in the video above), as the sounds from Mars are extra delicate and quieter than they’re on Earth, as a result of Mars’ much less dense ambiance.
“If you blow across the top of a Coke bottle, the resultant tone depends the properties of the atmosphere and the size of the bottle,” Delory defined. “If you do that on Mars, the Coke bottle would emit a frequency that is about 2/3 of the value of what you’d get on Earth. There is a general shift in everything sounding lower in frequency.”
Quiet or larger pitched seems like an individual whistling and or a hen chirping can be nearly imperceptible on Mars. In truth, scientists and engineers had been fairly stunned when the microphone picked up the Ingenuity helicopter’s buzzing rotors throughout its fourth flight, on April 30, from a distance of 262 ft (80 meters).
NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter acquired this picture utilizing its navigation digital camera, acquired on Oct. 24, 2021 (Sol 241 of the Perseverance rover mission). Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Delory, who’s the CEO and co-founder of the house {hardware} firm Heliospace, helped design the first ever Mars microphone. That microphone was half of the in poor health-fated Mars Polar Lander mission that launched in 1999, however crashed to the floor of Mars. He’s excited to now lastly hear the sounds he had hoped to listen to a long time in the past.
“Much of the microphone data sounds like I expected it would,” Delory advised Universe Today. “A very quiet background, with the wind as the main contributor, including an occasional dust devil. We had always expected to be able to hear lander or rover generated sounds, and now we have. But I never imagined being able to hear a helicopter. So, in this case, the biggest surprise was not what Mars had to offer, but what we as humans brought there!”
Engineers at JPL say that understanding the nature of sound on Mars might sooner or later assist them diagnose issues with a spacecraft on a distant planet, much like how a automobile mechanic would possibly pay attention carefully to an engine to determine what’s unsuitable with it.
These business grade microphones are much like the ones on board the Perseverance rover. Image courtesy DPA.
The two microphones on Perseverance had been created from commercially out there, off-the-shelf gadgets. One of the mics sits on the aspect of the rover’s chassis. The second mic is on Perseverance’s mast as a complement to the SuperCam laser instrument’s investigations of rocks and the ambiance.
These pictures present the microphones utilized in two earlier missions. Neither was ever used. On left, the Mars Descent Imager and microphone for the Phoenix lander; proper, the gadget for the failed Mars Polar Lander. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
The microphone Delory helped design for the Mars Polar lander equally used off-the-shelf components. He and his workforce examined their idea in each method conceivable in Mars-like situations, utilizing wind tunnels, vacuum chambers and thermal chambers. In his personal work years in the past and then just lately consulting for the Perseverance workforce, he had a reasonably good “sense” of what Mars would sound like. Hearing the actual sounds now are very gratifying.
“I can indeed imagine being right there,” he stated. “I’ve had many moments in desert environments running one test or another, including microphones, and experiencing the eerie silence right before a dust devil passes by, or a lightning strike in the distance. It’s great to see a microphone on Mars finally happen – and to have such a dedicated team behind it.”
Image of the Ingenuity helicopter, taken by the Perseverance rover’s MastCam-Z on June 15, 2021. Credit: NASA/JPL/
Further studying/listening:Audio from PerseveranceJPL press launchThe Planetary Society: Perseverance Microphones Fulfill Planetary Society Campaign to Hear Sounds from MarsHeliospace
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