A few months ago, in an announcement that went somewhat under the radar, NASA released the very first audio recording to be taken from the surface from Mars!
The recording was taken by NASA’s InSight lander touched down successfully on the planet back on November 26th, 2018.
The lander’s main mission is to compile and extensive study of the interior of the martian world by drilling below its surface.
The number one goal of the project is to analyze martian seismic activity and report evidence of Marsquakes, which are Earthquakes, except on Mars.
Bruce Banerdt, of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said in a press release:
“Capturing this audio was an unplanned treat. But one of the things [the InSight mission] is dedicated to is measuring motion on Mars, and naturally that includes motion caused by sound waves.”
In the clip below, you can hear the eerie sound of the Mars wind howling over the rover at approximately 10 to 15 miles per hour (16 to 24 kilometers per hour).
NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said:
“Hearing the first sounds ever recorded on the surface of another planet is a privilege. We have a great team, and we’re doing incredible things every day at NASA,”
“…It’s not the first time NASA has tried to capture audio on the Martian surface. The agency’s Mars Polar Lander was outfitted with a microphone, but that craft ultimately crashed into the planet in 1999 after shutting its engines off too early. The Phoenix Lander managed to stick its landing in 2008, but NASA chose not to engage the craft’s camera or microphone after a mission malfunction.
… In other words, microphones give scientists another “sense” to use during experiments on the Martian surface.”
Impressed by the early results the lander produced, the next mission in 2020 is equipped with not one, but two highly sensitive microphones. I wonder what sounds they’ll be able to capture next time?
As always, stay tuned to This Blows My Mind, and we’ll bring you all the updates!