If you could speak on Mars, how would you sound?
LEILA FADEL, HOST:
The Perseverance Rover that's scooting around Mars is equipped with microphones. It captured the sound of the wind on the Martian plains.
(SOUNDBITE OF WIND BLOWING)
RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:
And to simulate how you would sound on Mars, NASA has developed a new online tool. We gave it a try.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)
FADEL: This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Leila Fadel.
MARTIN: It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.
FADEL: I sound out of this world. Sylvestre Maurice is a planetary scientist in Toulouse, France.
SYLVESTRE MAURICE: Mars is a very quiet place. The atmosphere is so thin, the high-pitched sound gets attenuated a lot.
FADEL: And Maurice says the carbon dioxide that makes up most of the Martian atmosphere mutes high-pitch sounds.
MAURICE: It has to do with a molecule of CO2 that is vibrating. It's going to absorb very efficiently that sound. It would be very strange to listen to music on Mars.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HOUND DOG")
ELVIS PRESLEY: (Singing) You ain't nothin' but a hound dog, cryin' all the time.
MARTIN: Elvis on Mars. The Perseverance mission breakthrough gives humans their first chance ever to hear both real and imagined sounds from another planet.
MAURICE: We've been touching. We've been smelling. But we never hear anything. I think we - honestly, we're sitting on a pile of gold or something. And we don't know exactly what we're going to find.
MARTIN: A virtual pile of gold on the red planet, which is yielding some very cool discoveries.
(SOUNDBITE OF TIMMY DUKERR'S "SHUFFLE FEELINGS") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.