Music from Mars

The next US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) mission to Mars will boast of a microphone on board to record the sounds of the Red Planet. These sounds, recorded by the microphone on the Mars Polar Landau, which is due to touch down on the planet in 1999, will be made available to the public over the Internet. The device will be manufactured from off-the-shelf parts and will be included in an instrument panel currently being built by the Russian Space Research Institute ( New Scientist , Vol 157, No 2122).