General, Research, Technology

The Perseverance rover has recorded the sounds of grinding. Has it really broken down?

For decades, rovers have shownus photos of Mars and we were delighted with them. But progress does not stand still, and today you and I can not only look at the pictures, but also listen to the sounds of a distant planet. Arriving on Mars in February 2021, Perseverance is equipped with multiple microphones and has recently shared fresh sound recordings. You have probably already heard the sound of the Martian wind, but in addition to it, the apparatus was able to record the sounds of the laser and the movement of wheels on the planet's surface. On the recording, you can hear a mysterious grinding and scientists still cannot understand what it is. Is the rover already broken and needs repairs? Let's listen to all the recordings, find out what is making noise and which part of the Perseverance rover can make strange sounds.

Photo of Mars taken by the Perseverance rover on March 7, 2021

Recording the sound of the wind on Mars

The Martian wind was recorded 18hours since the arrival of the Perseverance spacecraft on the surface of Mars. The descent, by the way, was made on February 18 - we have a separate article about this. Wind noise was recorded on a microphone built into the SuperCam. Earlier it was reported that this microphone is not designed to record sounds from the surface of Mars. It was just important for the researchers that he could capture clicks when the camera was turned on and off - so you can quickly understand whether it was working or not.

SuperCam Laser Sounds

The sounds of the movement of the Perseverance rover

Also, the rover has a built-in EDL microphone,the initial function of which is to record sounds when the vehicle lands on the surface. He completed his main task, but on March 7, the researchers decided to try to record the sounds of the rover driving on the planet's surface. The device traveled 27.3 meters, so that in the end the microphone was able to record a sound fragment with a duration of 16 minutes. The writers of New Altas described the recording as "a symphony of squeaks and bumps, created while riding through loose mud and Martian rocks." Most of the recordings heard the sounds of metal wheels and the suspension of the apparatus. However, in the background, you can also hear the grinding, which slightly alerted the researchers.

The design of the Perseverance rover. There have been no crash messages yet, so everything is in order.

In addition, it should be noted that the EDL microphone is notintended for direct recording of the sounds of Mars. Sounds on a distant planet do not propagate in the same way as on Earth. This is because the thickness of the Mars atmosphere is only 1% of the Earth's atmosphere. Plus, it's mostly carbon dioxide, not nitrogen and oxygen. So other forces can act on the microphone and there is actually no grinding noise - it's just interference.

If you are interested in science and technology news, subscribe to our channel in Yandex.Zen. There you will find articles that have not been published on the site!

At the moment, the Red Planet is not being studied.only by the Perseverance rover, but also by other new devices. One of them is the Arab station Al Amal, which recently sent new data about Mars to Earth. Follow this link and see a photo of the largest volcano on Mars and some maps that are interesting to look at.