NASA's Perseverance rover has recorded the first audio clips captured on the surface of Mars, beaming back to Earth guttural sounds of wind gusting on the red planet, Report informs.
The first-of-its-kind audio was released Monday, along with extraordinary new video footage of the rover as it descended and landed last Thursday. The images are among the most sophisticated yet taken of Mars and offer never-before-seen views of the rover approaching its landing site.
Thomas Zurbuchen, the associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, said the new images and audio are "the closest you can get to landing on Mars without putting on a pressure suit."
The audio clips were captured by two microphones that are mounted on Perseverance. In one, a faint buzzing noise can be heard in the background, which Dave Gruel, the lead engineer for Perseverance's camera and microphone subsystem, said was from the rover itself. But roughly 10 seconds in, the microphone picked up the low growl of a wind gust, marking the first sounds recorded from the Martian surface.
The newly released video footage included views from several different cameras, including three at the top of the vehicle that recorded the spacecraft as it plummeted through the Martian atmosphere.
Two other cameras on the rover documented crucial stages of the descent: the spacecraft's parachute deploying, its protective back shell jettisoning, and a sky-crane lowering Perseverance to the ground. Another camera at the bottom of the rover captured stunning footage of Mars' desolate, rust-colored terrain right up until the rover's wheels touched down.
"It is unlikely at this point in my career that I will pilot a spacecraft down to the surface of Mars, but when you see this imagery, I think you will feel like you are getting a glimpse into what it would be like to land successfully in Jezero Crater with Perseverance," said Matt Wallace, the Perseverance mission's deputy project manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
The Perseverance rover touched down on Mars on Feb. 18, successfully executing one of the trickiest landing maneuvers ever attempted in NASA's history.