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The Perseverance Chariot was the first to record the sounds of other spacecraft on Mars

The Perseverance Chariot was the first to record the sounds of other spacecraft on Mars

You have already seen the footage of the Ingenuity helicopter flight. The next flight looked the same except at a different distance. So what could possibly get you to watch almost the same movie again? The accompanying sound.

On April 30, 2021, NASA performed the fourth successful flight of an innovative helicopter into the Martian atmosphere. Also for the first time, it became possible to record the sounds related to another vehicle. Even the astronauts on the Apollo mission did not. But this does not surprise you. After all, there is no atmosphere on the Moon, and although Mars is very rare, it is.

When the recording is played, the first noise is heard, which is the sound of the wind blowing through Jezero Crater that day. An additional, deep buzz will appear as creativity begins its journey. These are the sounds of a NASA helicopter.

Where does noise come from when a drone is flying?

The loud and sometimes unpleasant sound that we hear from a passing drone is not the sound of the engines. These are very quiet during operation, although the larger the plane, the more powerful the engines, the more important their contribution to the overall noise is. The drone’s rotors are responsible for the noise, because they rotate very quickly, cutting and moving the air, which produces distinctive noise Because the density of air on Mars differs from that on Earth, the sound would sound different as well.

In fact, we are not only hearing the drone’s sound, but more importantly, the impact of its propulsion system. The size and design of the rotors and the shields around them greatly affects how noisy the drone can be.

The recording from Mars contains an 84 Hz amplification signal with ingenuity, and the frequency response has been cut to below 80 Hz and above 90 Hz to reduce the effect of sounds on other frequencies not from the helicopter. Below, as a reminder, is a recording from Earth Lab where creativity was tested.

And how did the sounds of creativity fly?

First of all, the scientists weren’t sure at all that they would be able to record anything. The dexterity landed and took off 80 meters from the persistent rover, and in flight traveled even further. As a reminder, the fourth flight was a round-trip 133 meters.

Sounds of creativity are recorded using a microphone that is part of a tool called SuperCam. It’s a chemical composition spectroscopy camera that uses a laser beam to vaporize rock fragments.

SuperCam Mastercam
The SuperCam monocamera and the Mastcam-Z below

This is accompanied by a distinctive sound, the analysis of which allows us to learn more about the properties of the object tested, including its hardness. This sound is captured by the microphone, which this time was used for a completely different purpose. The image was recorded, as always, by the Mastcam-Z’s camera, that is, eyes of perseverance, which will likely be remembered more than once.

Fifth flight on Friday, May 8, before midnight in Poland

Ingenuity’s fifth journey will be the ultimate beta test of the core mission. But this time, creativity will not fly back and forth, and will end its journey in a new place. It was selected on the fourth flight and captured in the photo below.

New landing site

Source: NASA

Read more about the Mars 2020 mission: