NASA has released the first audio from Mars. The audio was captured using microphones of the Perseverance rover. The audio clip is 60 seconds long. A Martian breeze is clearly audible in the clip. The mechanical sounds of the rover operating on the planet’s surface are also audible. This is the first time when a space agency has recorded Martian sound. The agency also released a new video sent by Perseverance. The video brings the footage of the rover’s final minutes of arrival on the Red Planet. The NASA rover landed on Mars on February 18 in the Jezero crater. Perseverance’s camera system recorded the entire sequence of the rover’s touchdown. The landing video started after 230 seconds of the spacecraft’s entry into the Red Planet’s atmosphere.
The video starts from the moment of parachute inflation. It shows the explosive opening of the parachute as the vehicle descends. It shows how the parachute was transformed from being compressed to an almost 21 meter-wide canopy. This is the largest parachute ever sent by NASA to the Red Planet. It also shows heat shield dropping away after protecting Perseverance being getting affected from the Martian atmosphere’s temperature at the time of entry. The rover sways like a pendulum as it continues to descent. The jetpack then lowers the Perseverance rover using cables. The camera captured the plume of dust and small rocks on the Mars surface. The video ends with Perseverance’s wheels contacting the planet’s surface. NASA said that off-the-shelf cameras recorded the imagery.
The rover has also sent some stunning photos of Mars. It includes a high-resolution color selfie. Perseverance is the biggest and the most advanced rover ever sent by NASA. It will search for signs of ancient microbial life on the planet using highly advanced tools. It will also characterize the Red Planet’s geology and past climate. The data will be crucial in paving the way for human exploration of space and the Red Planet. It will also collect Martian rock and regolith using its arm for a possible return to Earth in the future. Perseverance is the tenth rover to land on Mars and ninth by NASA. The Soviet Union’s rover had lost contact with Earth soon after landing. NASA is the only space agency in the world to operate a rover on Mars. The planet is a topic of research and study for scientists in search of life beyond Earth.