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Mars 2020 Mission Brings EDL Microphones To Hear Mars Sounds

First Posted: Jul 19, 2016 06:44 AM EDT
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The Mars 2020 mission has declared that JPL-provided Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL) microphones, and a microphone included in the SuperCam science instrument, will soon fly on board their rover. It will be led by Roger Wiens at Los Alamos National Laboratory, in partnership with CNES, the French Space Agency.

The Mars microphones will enable the scientists to finally add a second human sense to the visual imagery they have captured from the Mars planet, The Planetary Society reported. Bill Nye, CEO of The Planetary Society, said that we will hear the sounds of Mars finally and asked the public to stay tuned and get ready for their mission.

Mars 2020 Deputy Project Manager, Matt Wallace of JPL said that this will be a great opportunity for the public to hear the sounds of Mars for the first time and that it could also provide useful engineering information, Make Me Feed reported. The SuperCam uses a Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS), which vaporizes rock with a laser and analyzes the result in determining its composition. The microphone may enhance their study, as testing on Earth indicated that analyzing the volume of the sound can be used to study the mass of a material vaporized by the laser shot.

The microphones are also expected to detect other sounds of science, engineering and public interest. The EDL microphones will include a suite of cameras and a microphone that will capture the never-before-seen or heard imagery and sounds of the entry, descent and landing sequence. The information from the cameras and microphone may provide valuable data to assist in planning future Mars planet landings, and make for thrilling video.

The Mars microphone is an exciting news for The Planetary Society and its members, who have been aiming to get microphones to Mars for the last two decades, including flying the first ever Mars microphone on the failed Mars Polar Lander mission. Their efforts played a crucial role in continually putting the idea of microphones to be part of the next Mars exploration.

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