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Science

NASAs Mars Perseverance rover beams back first sounds ever recorded on another planet – CBS News

NASA’s Perseverance rover, which landed on Mars lower than one week in the past, has beamed again the first-ever audio recordings from the floor of the crimson planet. 

NASA launched the audio clips Monday, together with never-before-seen video footage of the rover landing final Thursday, and probably the most subtle photos but taken of Mars. 

Together with 25 onboard cameras, the rover additionally carries two microphones. One didn’t work in the course of the rover’s descent, however the different captured the sounds of the Martian wind blowing previous, in addition to the whirring noise of the rover itself.

The audio snippet marks the primary sound ever recorded on one other planet. 

“For many who surprise the way you land on Mars – or why it’s so troublesome – or how cool it might be to take action – you want look no additional,” mentioned appearing NASA Administrator Steve Jurczyk. 

Within the first recording, sounds from the rover itself are extra distinguished. Within the second, NASA filtered the audio to make sounds from Mars clearer. 

“Think about your self sitting on the floor of Mars and listening to the environment,” Dave Gruel, lead engineer for the rover’s digital camera and microphone subsystem, mentioned throughout a news briefing. “It is cool. Actually neat. Overwhelming, if you’ll.”

Gruel mentioned that he was significantly excited for the audio recordings in order that people who find themselves visually impaired can nonetheless really feel the identical pleasure of reaching Mars as those that can view photos and movies.  

Mission staff members mentioned Monday that they hope to listen to many extra sounds from Mars, together with wind, storms, falling rocks and the sound of Perseverance’s wheels because it strikes or its drill because it digs into the Martian floor. 

Audio can even sign to scientists how nicely Perseverance is functioning, and probably establish points with the rover. However, attributable to Mars’ harsh situations, scientists warn that the microphones might not final the period of the mission. 

Thomas Zurbuchen, affiliate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, mentioned the recordings are “the closest you will get to touchdown on Mars with out placing on a strain swimsuit.”

Scientists have tried to listen to Mars earlier than. Microphones have traveled to the crimson planet twice — the Mars Polar Lander failed, and the microphone aboard the Phoenix Lander was by no means turned on. 

In 2018, NASA’s Perception Mars lander unexpectedly picked up similar sounds of Martian wind vibrations utilizing its air strain sensor and seismometer. However, Perseverance has captured the true factor from Mars’ floor, utilizing “business off-the-shelf” microphones, particularly devoted to selecting up audio. 

Perseverance will quickly get to work trying to find indicators of historic life within the Jezero Crater. And a decade from now, it plans to be the primary to send samples from the crimson planet again to Earth. 

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