US space agency NASA’s newest Mars rover, Perseverance, has recorded the first-ever sound of driving on Mars.
According to news agency ANI, these sounds were bangs, pings and rattles. These noises were a part of 16 minutes of raw audio feed released on Wednesday, 17 March, by Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
“A lot of people, when they see the images, don't appreciate that the wheels are metal. When you're driving with these wheels on rocks, it's actually very noisy,” said Vandi Verma, a senior engineer and rover driver at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California.
Taking it to Twitter, NASA released the audio recording of the rover as it drove across the red soil.
According to NASA, the noise generated by the interaction of Perseverance’s mobility system (its wheels and suspension) with the surface can be heard, along with a high-pitched scratching noise. Perseverance’s engineering team is evaluating the source of the scratching noise, which may either be electromagnetic interference from one of the rover’s electronics boxes or interaction between the mobility system and the Martian surface.
More than 16 minutes of sounds from Perseverance’s 27.3-metre drive on March 7 were captured by Perseverance’s entry, descent, and landing (EDL) microphone, which remains operational on the rover after its historic touchdown on February 18, reported news agency IANS.
“If I heard these sounds driving my car, I’d pull over and call for a tow. But if you take a minute to consider what you're hearing and where it was recorded, it makes perfect sense,” said Dave Gruel, lead engineer for Mars 2020’s EDL camera and microphone subsystem.
(With inputs from IANS & ANI)