How does sound change on Mars? I’m taking two mics with me, so we’ll soon find out. Try this new interactive to preview the difference: https://t.co/3TcSQvF7fa 🎧 Once I land, we can compare notes. pic.twitter.com/nHqGK7yEVJ
— NASA's Perseverance Mars Rover (@NASAPersevere) January 13, 2021
When the Mars Perseverance rover arrives on the Red Planet on Feb. 18, 2021, it may not only gather spectacular photographs and rock samples; the data it returns may also contain any captured sounds from Mars.
The rover holds a pair of microphones, which – if everything goes as expected – would include a fascinating and historic audio of the arrival and landing at Mars, along with the rover’s sounds at work.
On this web page, NASA is giving you the chance to hear those familiar Earth sounds as scientists expect you to hear them if you were on Mars. You’re going to hear, for example, birds chirping, the beeping of a vehicle back up, a bicycle whistle, and songs like they look on our planet, and as scientists expect they’re going to sound on Mars. The variations are very slight.
One microphone on board Perseverance, mounted on the SuperCam instrument at the top of the rover antenna, will be used for research and capturing Perseverance audio and natural sounds on Mars. It records the sounds of a rover’s laser that transforms rock into plasma as it reaches the target to collect information on the properties of rock, including hardness. Since the SuperCam microphone is mounted on the remote rover.
The first sounds could be restored to Earth and made available to the public within days of arrival, with a more processed version published around a week after that. The team would filter the sounds, with the aid of audio professionals, to hear the most important sounds more clearly.
An extra experimental microphone on the rover will attempt to capture sounds during the mission’s super-tricky entry, descent, and landing (EDL). It may catch, for example, the sounds of pyrotechnic devices fired to release the parachute, the Martian winds, the wheels crunching down on the Martian soil, and the roaring engines of the downhill vehicle as it flies away safely from the rover.
“It’s a unique experience to record audible sounds on Mars,” Chide said. “With the microphones aboard Perseverance, we’re going to bring a fifth sensation to Mars’ discovery. That will open up a new area of scientific study for both the atmosphere and the surface.”
The first sounds will be beamed back to Earth and made available to the public within days of arrival, with a more processed version released.