The Perseverance Mars rover landed just about three weeks ago, and believe it or not, NASA is still testing all of its systems. But considering the long journey and millions of dollars spent, caution is probably a prudent measure. But in an exciting turn, NASA released the first audio recordings taken from Perseverance’s “SuperCam,” and you can hear the sound of Martian wind and lasers zapping rocks.
Perseverance left our planet with hardware dubbed the SuperCam. But despite the name, it’s not just a camera. It houses other instruments, like a laser that the rover fires at rocks. The sound the impact makes can help scientists discern information about the physical structure of the targets, “such as its relative hardness or the presence of weathering coatings.”
Admittedly, listening to the sounds of lasers hitting rocks isn’t as exciting as you’d think. It’s mostly a series of rapid clicks. But, alongside that audio recording, NASA also released the first audio samples of Martian wind. If you saw a social post floating around three weeks ago promising to be the first sounds from Mars, that wasn’t really audio recordings from a Mars rover. But this time you’re getting the real deal.
The first clip comes from a point before Perseverance’s mast fully extended. The microphone is on the mast, which led to muffled audio, akin to a seashell effect. But the second recording occurred after deploying the mast, and you get the unmuffled audio. Listen closely, and you can even hear the rover in the background.
All three recordings are free to listen to on NASA’s SoundCloud, and you should go check it out now.