Sounds that could be compared to nails scraping down a chalkboard are music to these NASA engineers’ ears.
Those bangs and rattles came from 150 million miles away via NASA’s Mars Perseverance rover as it drove 90 feet around the planet’s rocky surface on March 7.
“If I heard these sounds driving my car, I’d pull over and call for a tow,” said NASA engineer Dave Gruel in a press release. “But if you take a minute to consider what you’re hearing and where it was recorded, it makes perfect sense.”The rover’s wheels are metal, said fellow NASA engineer Vandi Verma in the same release. “When you’re driving with these wheels on rocks, it’s actually very noisy.”
Nails on a chalkboard? Or the Mars Perseverance rover driving? Check out the audio below (around the 1:25 mark):
A 150-million-mile selfie stick:How NASA’s Perseverance rover overcame ‘time and space’ to capture first Mars panorama
Fact check:Mars Perseverance rover landing happened, Ingenuity helicopter can fly on Mars
Part of the reason for the rover’s trip across the Martian surface was to locate a suitable airfield for Ingenuity Mars Helicopter to attempt its first flight tests, read a NASA statement. That spot has been found.
The agency will hold a briefing next week to discuss upcoming plans for the helicopter.