InSight Mars Lander achieved a perfect landing last week on the planet Elysium Planitia, where it is difficult to work to drill into the surface (and of course take self-adhesive). But an “unplanned treatment” is a recording of the wind that rolls over Martin’s plains – which you can listen to here.
Technically, the farmer is not directed to detect sound, at least in the way you would do if you carefully attempted to record it. But the robot platform’s air pressure sensor and seismometer can both detect the minute variations when the wind rolls over it. The air pressure sensor, inside the silver dome you see above, produced the most common audio signal, although it would still be adjusted to be more like what you would hear if you were there.
“The InSight Lander acts like a giant ear,” explained InSight science member Tom Pike in a NASA press release. “The solar panels on the lander’s sides respond to pressure fluctuations in the wind. It’s as if InSight clings their ears and is heard by the Mars wind that hits it.”
Are you curious about how it sounds? The resulting recording can be listened to on SoundCloud or below:
Sounds like normal wind , right? Well what did you expect? Just like so many aspects of space exploration, the proseic nature of the matter itself – a rock, a landscape function, a breath of wind – is counteracted by the fact that millions of miles go on an alien world and are forwarded here by a high-tech robot . Wind on Mars may not sound very different than wind on earth – but it’s certainly not meant!
We will soon have more recordings so you can use it as sound to fall asleep. But even better sound is coming: The March 2020 rover will have actual high quality microphones on board and record the sound of landing and Martian’s atmosphere.