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Why hasn't NASA flown a microphone to Mars? Will future probes, to places like Europa, carry audio sensors?

JOHN FRANCIS, VICTORIA, BRITISH COLUMBIA
The microphone flown on the 1999 Mars Polar Lander (MPL) would have been the first on Mars had the spacecraft landed successfully. There is some skepticism about the scientific value of recording the sounds of Mars or another world, although everyone acknowledges the public-relations value. Resources and the competition to get other instruments aboard is fierce, and sensors viewed solely as "public relations" easily become sidelined. Cameras were regarded similarly early in the space program; no...

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