NASA's InSight lander captures first 'sounds' of wind on Red planet

On Friday, NASA released audio of the Martian wind, the first time sound has been recorded on another planet's surface.

The Nasa said in an official statement that its InSight sensor recorded a low frequency wind on Mars blowing 10 to 15 miles per hour (5 to 7 meters a second). These are vibrations, captured by NASA's InSight lander, which touched down on the Red Planet just last week. Hindustan Times delivers the news across all social media platforms, on the web, and at your doorstep.

With a reach of almost 6 feet (2 meters), the arm will be used to pick up science instruments from the lander's deck, gently setting them on the Martian surface at Elysium Planitia, the lava plain where InSight touched down on November 26.

"Today we can see the first glimpses of our workspace", Bruce Banerdt, the mission's principal investigator, said in a statement.

It's the sounds of Mars.

"Even though the Viking seismometer picked up what I would call motions of the spacecraft, I think it would be a stretch to call those sounds", he said. The seismometer will be moved to the Martian surface in the coming weeks; until then, the team plans to record more wind noise. It's like InSight is cupping its ears and hearing the Mars wind beating on it. "In some sense, this is what it would sound like if you were sitting on the InSight lander on Mars", Cornell University's Don Banfield told reporters.

The rumbling noise that you can hear in the clip includes the vibrations that are caused by the winds flowing over InSight's solar panels which were recorded by the lander's sensitive seismometer.

The craft's landing comes as part of NASA's mission to explore the planet's deep interior. NASA refers to the craft's task of learning about the planet's seismic waves as "taking the planet's pulse".

On a similar note, Rocket Lab, US-based small satellite launch firm, is preparing for the year's third orbital launch of the firm, the Educational Launch of Nanosatellites-19 mission for NASA.

NASA sent microphones to Mars on the Mars Polar Lander spacecraft in 1999, which crashed during its landing attempt, and on the Phoenix Mars lander; that instrument was left turned off, however, because it could have caused problems during landing.

  • Joey Payne