CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — First came the amazing pictures, then the video. Now NASA is sharing sounds of its little helicopter humming through the thin Martian air.
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California released this first-ever audio Friday, just before Ingenuity made its fifth test flight, a short one-way trip to a new airfield.
During the fourth flight a week earlier, the low hum from the helicopter blades spinning at more than 2,500 revolutions per minute is barely audible. It almost sounds like a low-pitched, faraway mosquito or other flying insect.
That’s because the 4-pound helicopter was more than 260 feet from the microphone on the Perseverance rover. The rumbling wind gusts also obscured the chopper’s sound.
Scientists isolated the sound of the whirring blades and magnified it, making it easier to hear.
Ingenuity, the first powered aircraft to fly at another planet, arrived at Mars Feb. 18, clinging to Perseverance’s belly. Its first flight was April 19; NASA named the takeoff and landing area Wright Brothers Field in honor of Wilbur and Orrville, who made the world’s first airplane flights in 1903.