A microphone on the Mars Perseverance rover has provided the first audio recording of sounds from the red planet.
NASA says the sound was recorded by a commercial, off-the-shelf microphone that survived the rover’s descent to the surface last week.
“The camera system covers the entirety of the descent process, showing some of the rover’s intense ride to Mars’ Jezero Crater,” NASA said.
“The footage from high-definition cameras aboard the spacecraft starts 7 miles (11 kilometres) above the surface, showing the supersonic deployment of the most massive parachute ever sent to another world, and ends with the rover’s touchdown in the crater.”
Perseverance recently beamed back its first colour images from the surface, including one showing one of its wheels in the Martian dirt.
— NASA's Perseverance Mars Rover (@NASAPersevere) February 22, 2021
New image released from the Mars perseverance rover. pic.twitter.com/Sto31d8zuG
— Richard Southern (@richard680news) February 22, 2021
“For those who wonder how you land on Mars – or why it is so difficult – or how cool it would be to do so – you need look no further,” said acting NASA Administrator Steve Jurczyk.
“Perseverance is just getting started, and already has provided some of the most iconic visuals in space exploration history. It reinforces the remarkable level of engineering and precision that is required to build and fly a vehicle to the Red Planet.”
In the coming days, a 360-degree panorama of Jezero by the Mastcam-Z should provide the highest resolution look at the road ahead.
NASA says a key objective of Perseverance’s mission on Mars is astrobiology, including the search for signs of ancient microbial life.
The rover will characterize the planet’s geology and past climate, paving the way for human exploration of the Red Planet.