NASA released on Wednesday (10) the first recording of laser shots against a rock on Mars, made by the microphone installed in one of the instruments of the Perseverance rover, which has been on Martian soil since last February 18th, from where has sent incredible audios and images.
According to the American space agency, the record was made on March 2 while the SuperCam instrument, which is on the robot’s arm, fired the laser beam at a rock located about 3 meters away from the equipment.
In the short audio sequence released, it is possible to hear the sound that was the result of 30 impacts of the laser on the material. The intensity varies throughout the recording, but we can notice a noise similar to a clock ticking, in an accelerated version. Listen below:
“These sounds of rhythmic beats heard by the microphone of my SuperCam instrument have different intensities that can help my team discover the structure of the rocks around me,” explained NASA in a statement released on Perseverance’s official Twitter profile.
Study of Martian Rocks
As reported by the space agency, the sounds captured by the equipment may contain various information about the targets that receive the laser beam, remembering that the mission microphones are also used to record the sounds of the Red Planet and the noises caused by the movement of the rover on site.
Designed to study the mineralogy and chemistry of the rocks of our space neighbor, the SuperCam laser can reach objects from up to 6 meters away. When launched, the beam vaporizes small portions 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, obtaining essential information for the success of the mission, which aims to find signs of ancient microbial life on Mars.