MELBOURNE, Fla. — After the historic landing of NASA’s Perseverance rover at about 3:55 p.m. Thursday, the tiny spacecraft is expected to “hear” some “big” things.”

What You Need To Know

Florida Tech atmospheric planetary scientist Jeremy Riousset will be “all ears” to find out what the rover discovers.

"You can listen and record the background noise, which for me is very interesting,” Riousset says. “You could hear thunder."

(Jon Shaban/Spectrum News)

Mars's atmosphere is only 1 percent as dense as Earth’s and much colder, which affects the way sound waves are heard and travel.

The Perseverance rover is equipped with a pair of microphones that will provide audio to NASA scientists. The microphone perched on top of the rover's mast will record natural sounds on Mars. It will also capture the sound of the rover's laser, zapping rock into plasma while getting information on rock properties.

The second microphone will try to record the rover's Mars entry, descent, and landing -- deemed risky and tricky as the descent vehicle's engines roar to life to ease the spacecraft to the surface.

Scientists say it will be harder to hear noises on Mars because of the limited atmosphere.

Learning about the sounds that can be picked up will help designers protect future human missions, Riousset says.

"If your life depends on it, you don't want to take a chance electrical activity could create a power surge," Riousset says.

The first sounds could be beamed back to Earth within days, and after audio experts process them, could be released to the  public a week later.