NASA's Perseverance Rover Records Sound of Ingenuity Helicopter Flying on Mars

·2-min read

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Jet Propulsion team (JPL) shared the humming sound of its Mars Ingenuity helicopter that took its flight on the Red Planet last month. On Friday, JPL shared the audio recorded by NASA’s Perseverance Rover as Ingenuity took its fourth flight on Mars. Being one of the fastest moving flights, Ingenuity helicopter’s carbon-fibre blades measured about four feet from tip to tip spin at 2,537 rotor per minute. The audiovisual from Ingenuity’s flight on April 30, posted on Twitter by NASA’S Perseverance Rover, also showed the mini helicopter moving across the surface of the planet as it flew at a height of 872 foot. In its video, NASA explained that the sound was recorded by a microphone on SuperCam which is a laser instrument on Perseverance. NASA said in a statement that the laser zaps rocks from a distance and studies their vapor with a spectrometer to reveal their chemical composition. It is suggested that viewers use headphones to hear the low humming sound of Ingenuity since the helicopter was 263 feet away from the rover when the sound was being recorded.

NASA mentioned in its video that scientists were not sure if viewers would be able to hear anything and sound from the blade was isolated and its volume was increased to make it easier to hear for the audience. The video also presents an example of the Doppler Effect when Ingenuity’s sound changes as it leaves the area and then comes back. The helicopter’s hum can be heard faintly above the sound of the Martian winds.

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With this new dimension of sound added to the space exploration field, scientists can now hear how their machines are performing in space or on other planets just like how a pilot would listen to the sound of aeroplanes here on Earth to distinguish which model it is. The video also shows Ingenuity making its smooth landing that was captured by Perseverance Rover’s Mastcam-Z imager.

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