NASA shares first audio clip of Perseverance rover rolling across Mars

NASA's Perseverance rover, which landed on Mars in February, is equipped with microphones that, the space agency had said, would enable it to capture noises as it navigated the planet. Only weeks after the landing, NASA is back with the first-ever audio clip of a machine operating on another planet, giving the public a full 16 minutes of raw, unfiltered audio.

NASA has long provided images of Mars, but audio is another matter. Perseverance arrived with many new instruments that would enable new aspects of exploration, one of which is a particularly sensitive microphone that survived the seven-minute descent. Using that microphone, Perseverance was able to record sounds as it moved across the Jezero Crater.

Perseverance is a big, heavy machine; it features six wheels and, as the newly shared audio clip reveals, makes quite a bit of noise as it rolls across Mars' rocky, barren landscape. The 16-minute audio recording covers Perseverance's 90ft drive across the crater, which took place on March 7.

Despite the rickety sounds, NASA notes that the noises are expected and aren't a sign that anything is wrong with the rover. There is, however, a scratching noise in the raw audio, which NASA says its team is investigating. Joining the raw audio is a shorter processed version that helps cut out some of the noise.

In that shorter version, we can hear the sounds Perseverance makes across the rocky surface, ones not unlike what you'd hear from an off-road vehicle traveling similar terrain on Earth. Head over to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory website to listen to both of the audio clips, which were uploaded to Soundcloud.