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Guest: Jason Achilles; Topics: Jason talks about his role in developing the microphone used to record sounds on Mars. In addition, he talked about his LUNAR EXOCAM project to show rockets landing real time on the Moon and elsewhere in space (see www.exocam.io).
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We welcomed Jason Achilles to the program to discuss the microphone he helped designed for use in recording sounds on Mars plus his LUNAR EXOCAM project to show landings on the Moon (and on other celestial bodies) in real time as the spaceship touches the lunar surface. The first part of our program was spent getting a good introduction to Jason and all of his work, including his expertise in music which is his full time career. As he told me when we were working on setting up this Space Show program, his aerospace engineering was a side gig. By the way, he is self-taught on aerospace engineering!
Regarding the microphone used to record Martian sounds, it was Jason's expertise with music, sound, recording, microphones, software and more that led him to contact JPL with valuable insights and suggestions for their Mars microphone on the Perseverance rover. This led to Jason working with the JPL folks to perfect the microphone, software, recording methodology so all of us could hear what sound on Mars was like. Note that sound does travel on Mars as it has an atmosphere, an issue he addressed later in the program due to listener email questions about sound in space and on the Moon. Jason told us a compelling in inspirational story about the sound on Mars, his microphone, and his expertise coming from his work in music. Listen to the story in his own words. Let us know what you think plus any questions you might have for Jason by posting on our blog for this program.
Listeners asked our guest lots of technical questions about the type of microphone and more. Jason did go into technical detail on the hardware, programming, even what it would take to get stereo audio on Mars. As our discussion progressed, a listener sent in a note urging me to strike a deal to have Jason rework Space Show audio. Jason and I even had a very short discussion about audio, TSS, and such. When I asked the listener sending in the email for a grant to cover the cost of update equipment and working with Jason, he went silent. Maybe something happened to his streaming connection?
Other parts of our sound on Mars discussion inquired about sound and the infamous Martian dust storms, the speed of sound on Mars and then later, questions were asked about sound elsewhere in the solar system. Jason talked about other locations including Titan but also recording for sound on Venus at the sweet spot in the upper atmosphere where conditions are close to what they are here on Earth. Don't miss this discussion. He also talked about ways to create sound from the vacuum of space though it would be a digital creation, not real sound.
As we progressed to the latter part of our discussion, we asked Jason about his LUNAR EXOCAM project, www.exocam.io. Jason worked with Honeybee Robotics, developed a 360 degree camera to enable viewing of all the sphere in question at all times. Once the camera is ejected from the spaceship coming down for a landing on the Moon, the camera will record the actual landing real time and stream it live for all to see, even back here on Earth. He was asked about sound with the cameral, using a Go Pro camera with a mic built in, sound on the Moon (if any) and more. He referred us to the EXOCAM website for more on the project. Before ending, we talked about a few other space sound microphones that have been used, the sound of a black hole and movies addressing the issue. Before leaving, Jason pointed us to his music YouTube Channel and told us how to find other clips regarding space. On YouTube, just search for his name and you will find his material.
Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog for show.