NASA released the first recording of laser shots against a rock on Mars on Wednesday (10), taken by the microphone installed in one of the instruments of the Perseverance rover, which has been on Mars since February 18, providing incredible audio and images.
According to the US space agency, the record was made on March 2 as the SuperCam instrument, located on the robot’s arm, fired the laser beam at a rock about 3 meters away from the equipment.
In the short audio sequence that has been released, it is possible to hear the sound that resulted from 30 strokes of the laser on the material. The intensity varies during recording, but we can notice a sound similar to the ticking of a clock, in an accelerated version. Listen below:
“These sounds of rhythmic beats heard through the microphone of my SuperCam instrument have different intensities that can help my team discover the structure of the rocks around me,” NASA explained in a statement on the official Twitter profile from Perseverance.
Study of Mars Rocks
As reported by the space agency, the sounds picked up by the equipment can contain different information about the targets that receive the laser beam, bearing in mind that the mission microphones are also used to capture the sounds of the Red Planet and the sounds caused by the movement of the rover on the spot.
Designed to study the mineralogy and chemistry of our neighbor’s rocks, the SuperCam laser can reach objects up to 20 feet away. When launched, the jet vaporizes small parts of the stones, while a special lens analyzes the material released during the action.
From there it is possible to study the chemical composition of the rocks and obtain essential information for the success of the mission, which aims to find signs of ancient microbial life on Mars.