In the spring of 2020 should begin implementation of the second part of the mission of Russian-European space mission ExoMars, in which to the red planet is planned to send a new Rover “Rosalind Franklin” developed by the European space Agency and landing platform “Cossack”, created in NPO Lavochkin. An interesting feature of the latter is not only that it developed in Russia, but also that the platform is equipped with tool MAIGRET, created by the Institute of atmospheric physics of Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic.
It is a high-sensitivity microphone that can capture the thunderous sounds from Martian lightning (unless, of course, those exist). According to planetary scientists, such electrical discharges may occur in dust clouds, often occur in the atmosphere of the red planet, however, documented their tracks, scientists have not yet recorded.
To check the efficiency of the device, the researchers plan to conduct the first kind of concert on the surface of Mars, losing one of 11 short tunes or audio clips that are recorded in the onboard unit memory MAIGRET. Interestingly, the audio that should play the instrument, it is proposed to choose of the Internet users.
“We needed a dataset to test the functionality of the tool. Instead use a random set of waves, we decided to write to the chip set of short clips, and thus attract the attention of the public to our project,” comments Ondrej Santolik, scientific head of the project MAIGRET.
As noted by the organizers of the project, the authors of these entries can be any Internet users. It is enough just to visit a special website of the contest and send the scientists own version of the audio file. The only requirement is that the duration of recording should not exceed 30 seconds, because the memory block at MAIGRET limited.
The competition to select the “music” is performed in two stages. At first, scientists will select the 11 most successful and popular options posted on the website (to vote for them is also offered to the users). Then they will write to the memory block MAIGRET. During the flight of spacecraft to Mars is planned to hold another vote. It will select one single record, which will be played during the first inclusion of scientific instruments. The rest of the audio files will be erased at the time when the microphone MAIGRET will listen first Mars concert and to convey the sounds to the Ground.
To date, the website submitted hundreds of applications. Among them are fragments of speeches by Stephen Hawking, music from sci-Fi movie “interstellar”, the TV series Battlestar Galactica, the sounds of nature, well, and, of course, a lot of different memes. For example, now the leader of the famous Spanish “Gull”.
The first selection of songs is planned to be completed on may 20 this year. On the second phase of voting is going to announce later, when a “Cossack” will fly to Mars.
Recall that the first phase of the Russian-European mission “ExoMars” began in 2016. To the red planet was sent two spacecraft: the Orbiter Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) and landing module “Schiaparelli”. The main task of “Schiaparelli” was the development of the technologies entry, descent, landing on the surface of Mars. Unfortunately, during its landing descent vehicle crashed. In turn, the TGO Orbiter successfully entered the preset orbit and is working for the good of science, waiting for a new Mars Rover with which he will be paired.
The task of the new Autonomous mobile science lab will consist of geological research and the search for traces of life on Mars near the landing site. In turn, the TGO has already made some interesting discoveries. For example, he discovered huge deposits of water in some regions of the planet and at the same time not found even minimal traces of methane in its atmosphere.