NASA releases clip of Perseverance being pelted by Martian dirt as it encounters a dust devil 

  • NASA released the first audio clip of Perseverance driving on Mars
  • The raw audio is 16 minutes long and plays bangs, pings and rattles of its wheels
  • It was captured with an off-the-shelf microphone attached to the Rover
  • NASA placed the mic on the rover so the public can hear the sounds of Mars
  • Perseverance also encountered its first dust devil while on the Red Planet
  • It was spotted moving right to left behind the rover’s robotic arm 

NASA’s Perseverance rover is slowly trekking across Mars, but we can now hear its tires rolling in the dirt from 239 million miles away.

The American space agency shared the first audio of the rover’s six tires ‘banging, pinging and rattling’ through the Jezero Crater to search for ancient signs of life.

Perseverance, also known as ‘Perky,’ also shared its first encounter with a dust devil that moved right to left behind its robotic arm.

A short video sent back to the NASA team that shows a whirling cloud of dust off in the distance and experts say it will cross paths with many more in the future – the Curiosity rover has observed nearly 16 since landing on Mars in 2012.

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NASA’s Perseverance rover is slowly trekking across Mars, but we can now hear its tires rolling in the dirt from 239 million miles away. The American space agency shared the first audio of the rover’s six tires ‘banging, pinging and rattling’ through the Jezero Crater

Perseverance landed February 18 and has since shared a gallery of stunning images of the Martian world, along with sounds of wind and its laser firing at targets.

The latest recorded audio, however, makes us feel as if we are along for the ride – you can hear the crunching of the tires in the dirt and the mechanical parts every move.

More than 16 minutes of sounds from Perseverance’s 90-foot (27.3-meter) drive on March 7 were captured by Perseverance’s entry, descent and landing (EDL) microphone.

The off-the-shelf microphone was a unique addition to Perky, as NASA hoped it would provide the public and its own team with insight to what life is like on Mar.

Perseverance, also known as ‘Perky,’ also shared its first encounter with a dust devil that moved right to left behind its robotic arm

Vandi Verma, a senior engineer and rover driver at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, said: ‘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.

There are two audio clips – one is raw and the other is a shorter compilation of sounds.

In the initial stream, unfiltered sounds of the rover travelling can be heard.

A short video sent back to the NASA team that shows a whirling cloud of dust off in the distance and experts say it will cross paths with many more – the Curiosity rover has observed nearly 16 since landing on Mars in 2012

‘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, NASA shared in a statement.

‘Perseverance’s engineering team continues to evaluate the source of the scratching noise, which may either be electromagnetic interference from one of the rover’s electronics boxes or interactions between the mobility system and the Martian surface.’

The audio clip of Perseverance driving on Mars captured the rover’s six massive wheels churning through the dirt. NASA expert said it sounded like a car that needs to be towed 

Perseverance landed February 18 and has since shared a gallery of stunning images of the Martian world, along with sounds of wind and its laser firing at targets. Pictured is the Jezero Crater where it landed and will look for ancient signs of life 

The second clip plays a range of bangs, pings and rattles that come from the rover’s wheels.

Dave Gruel, lead engineer for Mars 2020’s EDL Camera and Microphone subsystem, said: ‘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.’

Perseverance has also been searching for a suitable airfield for the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter to attempt its first flight tests and now that it has been located, the rover and NASA will soon deploy the copter to complete up to five test flights.

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