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NASA releases first audio Recording of Red Planet, video of Perseverance rover landing

US space agency NASA released the first audio from Mars on Monday. A microphone on the rover has provided the first audio recording of sounds from Mars, a recording of the gust of wind.

In last week, NASA has also released the first video of the rover's landing, which is on a mission to search for signs of ancient microbial life on the red planet.

From the moment of parachute inflation, the camera system covers the entirety of the descent process, showing some of the rover’s intense ride to Mars’ Jezero Crater. The footage from high-definition cameras aboard the spacecraft starts 7 miles (11 kilometers) above the surface, showing the supersonic deployment of the most massive parachute ever sent to another world, and ends with the rover’s touchdown in the crater.

A microphone attached to the rover did not work during the rover's descent on the surface, but it was able to capture audio from Jezero Crater after landing on the surface of Mars. About 10 seconds of the 60-second recording is audible as Martian breeze, rest of the recording is the mechanical sounds of the rover working on the surface. 



In a statement, Dave Gruel, lead engineer for the camera and microphone system on Perseverance said that "What you hear there 10 seconds in is an actual wind gust on the surface of Mars picked up by the microphone and sent back to us here on Earth."                          

"For those who wonder how you land on Mars – or why it is so difficult – or how cool it would be to do so – you need look no further,” said acting NASA Administrator Steve Jurczyk. “Perseverance is just getting started, and already has provided some of the most iconic visuals in space exploration history. It reinforces the remarkable level of engineering and precision that is required to build and fly a vehicle to the Red Planet.”                         

Also released Monday was the mission’s first panorama of the rover’s landing location, taken by the two Navigation Cameras located on its mast. The six-wheeled robotic astrobiologist, the fifth rover the agency has landed on Mars, currently is undergoing an extensive checkout of all its systems and instruments.

“This video of Perseverance’s descent is the closest you can get to landing on Mars without putting on a pressure suit,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA associate administrator for science. “It should become mandatory viewing for young women and men who not only want to explore other worlds and build the spacecraft that will take them there, but also want to be part of the diverse teams achieving all the audacious goals in our future.”     

The high-definition video clip, lasting three minutes and 25 seconds, depicts the deployment of a red-and-white parachute with a 70.5foot wide canopy. This leaves the heat shield away after entering the Martian atmosphere in a cloud of dust in the Jezero Crater just north of the equator of the red planet and protecting the solidity during the rover's touchdown.      

"This is the first time we've ever been able to capture an event like the landing on Mars," said Michael Watkins, director of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which is managing the mission.

An important objective of the Perseverance mission on Mars is astrobiology, which involves the discovery of signs of life from ancient microbial life. The rover will mark the planet's geology and climate of the past, paving the way for human exploration of the Red Planet, and the first mission to collect and cache Martian rock and regolith.