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How does Mars Rovers sound?



Image: NASA / JPL-Caltech / MSSS
Soundmodo In this series of Gizmodo we learn what sounds, sounds and sounds

Before finding its end in a dust storm with the planet, the Marshall Opportunity crossed almost 30 miles through a dangerous Martian surface. In a way, we traveled with Oppy with thousands of images that they sent back to Earth. But what was the Oppy tour ?

There were no microphones that transmitted the sounds of Opportunity sounds or his partner Spirit, but of course they had to raise the noise as their wheels grounded over rocks and dry dust. Fortunately for those who are interested in us, NASA's Pasadena Laboratory in Pasadena, California, has test facilities, including a large area designed to reproduce the Mars surface called MarsYard. There, the rover engineering models cross the model of the terrain. Along with the science of sound, we can understand how the rovers sounded, both on Earth and on Mars. The sound you expect from a metal robot that turns over through dirt. Meanwhile, the larger Curiosity Rover represents a complete cacophony of cries, as their own metal wheels pass through the MarsYard rocks.

Testing elements of the Mars rover NASA Mars Science Laboratory.

But there is a "fairly big difference" in how the sound passes through the air on Mars as compared to the Earth, Don Banfield, Chief Scientist of the Cornell Center for Astrophysics and Planetary Sciences, told Gizmodo. Sound is only the brain that transmits vibrations into the air molecule in more meaningful data, but the way the sound moves depends on the air through which it passes. The atmosphere of Mars consists mainly of carbon dioxide and is about 1% of the Earth's atmosphere, which is 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen and the trace of other substances.

The Difference in Component Molecules The structure and thickness of the air will lead to two appreciable distortions of sounds as soon as you are at a distance of several feet from the rovers, explained Banfield. There is not enough molecules to carry high frequency sounds – those with the shortest wavelengths – so that at distant distances you would not hear sound with frequencies above 10,000 Hz, the tonalities that give the plates and bells their brilliant quality. On the other hand, on the Mars disappear lower tones of bass at frequencies of about 100 Hz, since some energy that otherwise causes the wave to move forward is spent on the rotation of carbon dioxide molecules.

In addition, you do not just stand on the Mars in shorts and a T-shirt – you'll be carrying winds, a low pressure atmosphere, and cold temperatures in the spacesuit. Sounds would have been somewhat muted.

Although we never hear that Spirit, Opportunity or Curiosity actually sounded like on Mars, some experiments will soon be available to measure sounds on the Red Planet. The InSight camera has already measured vibrations from the Martian wind, and the Mars 2020 Marshall brings two microphones aboard so that we finally hear the wind, rocks and metal grinding on the surface of Mars.

And who knows maybe one day of our lives, a person will have the opportunity to hear these sounds directly.


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