Researchers from NASA were able to record the sounds of the flight of the Ingenuity device on Mars. It turned out that even the surrounding noise, such as the Martian wind, does not interfere with the recording.
A spacecraft on another planet recorded the sounds of another spacecraft for the first time. NASA’s Perseverance rover used one of two microphones to listen to the Ingenuity helicopter on its fourth flight. This is how a new video appeared that combines footage of solar-powered flight captured by the Perseverance rover’s Mastcam-Z camera with sound from the microphone of the SuperCam laser device.
Scientists explained that a laser is aiming its waves at stones, then studying with a spectrometer to determine the chemical composition. The instrument’s microphone records the sounds of these laser impacts, which provide information about the physical properties of objects such as hardness. The microphone can also record ambient noise such as the Martian wind.
Since the Perseverance was parked 80 meters from the helicopter take-off and landing site, the mission was not sure if the microphone would pick up any flight sounds. Even during flight, when the blades of the helicopter rotate at a speed of 2537 rpm, the sound is heavily drowned out by the rarefied Martian atmosphere. In the first moments of the flight, it is even more drowned out by gusts of the Martian wind. However, they managed to record sounds.
The press service of NASA noted that during the fourth flight, the helicopter took more pictures of the Red Planet than during previous tests. It is specified that specialists will get access to the images later. The first flight was made by an unmanned helicopter on April 19. Ingenuity became the first spacecraft to fly on another planet.