What does Martian wind sound like? Now we know

Muriel Hammond
December 10, 2018

The Instrument Deployment Camera (IDC), located on the robotic arm of NASA's InSight lander, took this image of the Martian surface the day the spacecraft touched down on the Red Planet, and was relayed from InSight to Earth via NASA's Odyssey spacecraft, now orbiting Mars, on November 26, 2018.

According to the Tweet, sensors in InSight's seismometer and weather instrument captured vibrations from martian wind hitting the lander on December 1.

"The winds were consistent with the direction of dust devil streaks in the landing area, which were observed from orbit", the NASA statement added. It's like InSight is cupping its ears and hearing the Mars wind beating on it.

"Capturing this audio was an unplanned treat", Bruce Banerdt, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said in a press release.

What does Mars sound like?

"In some sense, this is what it would sound like if you were sitting on the Insight lander on Mars". This is the Heat Flow and Physical Properties Probe (HP3) that will drill deep into Mars to take the planet's temperature.

NASA's Viking 1 and 2 landers also picked up signals of the Martian wind when they landed in 1976.


An upcoming mission, the Mars 2020 rover, will have two microphones on board for clearer sound recording.

An air pressure sensor and a seismometer recorded the noise through the vibrations in the air and vibrations around the aircraft "caused by the wind moving over the spacecraft's solar panels". The low-frequency rumblings were collected by the InSight lander during its first week of operations at Mars.

More images from InSight's arm were scheduled to come down this past weekend.

The craft will also have an on board camera that will serve the extremely sci-fi objective of "detect the sound of the instrument's laser as it zaps different materials".

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.

"The experimental MarCO CubeSats have also opened a new door to smaller planetary spacecraft".

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