General, Research, Technology

What sounds were recorded by NASA's first rover with a microphone?

In July 2020, NASA's aerospace agencysent the Perseverance spacecraft to Mars. It is the largest rover ever built and the first to have built-in microphones. It will reach the vastness of the Red Planet only in February 2021 and is currently flying towards it inside a special capsule in the off state. But from time to time, researchers turn on various parts of the rover and check the equipment to make sure it works. They recently activated its built-in microphone and recorded the sounds that are heard while flying to a distant planet. The audio recording was published on the agency's website and everyone can listen to it... But what sounds can the apparatus record if space is a vacuum in which sound waves cannot propagate? Maybe you already guess yourself?

The Perseverance rover flies inside such a capsule


  • 1 What sounds are heard in space?
  • 2 Targets of the Perseverance rover
  • 3 Camera on the rover
  • 4 Where is the Perseverance rover located?

What sounds are heard in space?

Recorders installed insidehull of the rover. It should be said right away that it is not intended to record sounds that are emitted on Mars. The device is needed so that researchers can control the operation of the rover's mechanisms. For example, one microphone is installed on the SuperCam and is needed to read its clicks. Hearing them, researchers will know that the camera has definitely turned on. Another microphone is needed to record the sounds that the apparatus will make when it enters the planet's atmosphere.

Approximate microphone location on the Perseverance rover

Recording sounds picked up by the microphones of the devicePerseverance, was published on the NASA official website. If you turn on audio recording, you can hear a uniform, rather quiet hum. These sounds are not emitted by space, because sound waves cannot be transmitted in its space. There is complete silence. The sounds heard on the recording are most likely the noise of a working cooling system. Since there is a vacuum in space, these sounds are transmitted through the solid body of the rover in the form of vibrations.

Perseverance rover

But the performance of Perseverance for NASAvery important because it has a lot of responsibility. Firstly, the rover is needed to search for places where living organisms could once have existed. Secondly, he will look for living microbes in the rocks. Thirdly, it will collect and store rock samples for further study on Earth. You can read more about the objectives of the Perseverance mission in this article.

See also: How deep can life exist on Mars?

Rover camera

Also, NASA researchers checked the cameraHazcam. Upon activation, he was able to capture fragments of thermal insulation installed on the surface of the apparatus. The photo was glued together from several small pieces. The photo below shows that everything is fine with her. We can only hope that everything will be fine with her in the future. And at the moment, the device is flying towards Mars and will only reach it at the beginning of 2021.

A still shot with a Hazcam

Where is the Perseverance rover located?

Look at where the rover is nowPerseverance, everyone can. At the end of August, NASA launched the Eyes on the Solar System website, through which you can find out at what point in space the capsule with the device is located. Anyway, through this site you can examine in detail the entire solar system and find out where other spacecraft launched by people are located. For example, through the site you can look at the New Horizons interplanetary station, which was launched in 2006.

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It is important to note that the inside of the capsule alsothere is an Ingenuity helicopter. It weighs less than 1.8 kilograms and is capable of taking off, flying at an altitude of several tens of meters and descending onto a flat surface. It has no special mission - the researchers just want to find out if a helicopter of this kind can work in the conditions of Mars. If they can, engineers can develop a more complex helicopter and use it to study areas of the Red Planet that ordinary rovers cannot reach.