Is there life on Mars? And how does the planet sound? NASA has just launched the Mars 2020 Perseverance mission to answer these questions. If all goes well, the rover will touch down on Mars in February 2021. And this time around, it won’t just explore the planet’s climate and geology. Another objective of the mission is to bring us sound recordings from Mars. That’s why Perseverance carries technology from DPA Microphones.
DPA Microphones on Mars
We know that Mars has an atmosphere, so there can be sound, but so far, very few recordings exist. That’s in part due to equipment failing during previous missions. Let’s hope that Perseverance makes it to Mars in one piece and transmits some exciting audio clips back to Earth. I’m sure they would make a great sample pack!
The rover, which is now on its way to Mars, has been equipped with technology from DPA Microphones. Sounds will be captured using a DPA 4006 condenser microphone with an omni polar pattern (which is of course available at Thomann.de*). The signal travels through a MMP-GR/GS cable, which also acts as a preamp, to a DPA MMA-A audio interface with two MicroDot inputs and a Micro USB port. Apparently, USB audio interfaces are now considered spaceworthy – let’s hope that NASA has double-checked the connection before liftoff!
In the video linked below, DPA Microphones presents an idea of the sounds we could hear when Perseverance lands. From the entry into the planet’s atmosphere to the action-packed landing to the first sounds from the surface of Mars, it should be a thrilling ride. In the meantime, check out the mysterious sounds recorded by the seismometer on NASA’s InSight mission – eerie!
If you are interested in sounds from Mars, you can also listen to the various strange sounds captured by the seismograph carried by the InSight rover in 2018 in the official NASA account of Soundcloud: