The current Curiosity rover mission to Mars just keeps getting cooler by the day, as NASA continues to release new images from the rover's main cameras. Looking at the surface of Mars is awe-inspiring in its own right, but now there is an audio message from the rover that amounts to the first recorded human voice ever received from another planet.
NASA's calling it "Interplanetary Voicemail," and although it's not a broadcast from an alien life form, it's still pretty damn cool.
To achieve this first, NASA recorded a short speech from administrator Charles Bolden, beamed it to Mars, and beamed it back to their Deep Space Network. Sure, they had to create the audio, but guys - it traveled to freaking Mars and back.
Listen to Bolden discuss the triumph that is the Curiosity rover and this latest mission to the Red Planet:
"With this voice, another small step is taken in extending human presence beyond Earth, and the experience of exploring remote worlds is brought a little closer to us all," said Dave Lavery, NASA Curiosity program executive. "As Curiosity continues its mission, we hope these words will be an inspiration to someone alive today who will become the first to stand upon the surface of Mars. And like the great Neil Armstrong, they will speak aloud of that next giant leap in human exploration."
I'd like to think that the recently deceased Neil Armstrong would be particularly thrilled by this development.
Curiosity is only about three weeks into its two-year mission, and we've already received some amazing landscape shots as well as this audio transmission. Speaking of amazing shots, the photo at the lead show the layers of Mars' Mount Sharp. It was taken with Curiosity's 100-millimeter Mast Camera late last week.[via NASA]