It is hard to be as excited about hearing as we are and not be excited about sound in general. That is why it is with intense curiosity that we are reading about the plans to include a microphone on the Mars 2020 rover vehicle. This represents the first time we will be able to pick up the sounds of Mars directly and transmit them to Earth. As if recording the Martian soundscape isn’t reason enough, the main purpose of the microphone is to serve the SuperCam and the LIBS (Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy) sensor. What does the LIBS do? Glad you asked: it vaporizes rocks with a laser.
Sounds from space, or more accurately sounds derived from the sensor and radar data of space probes, have been circulating the internet for years. They are infinitely inspiring, interesting, strange, and beautiful in their own way. They are also admittedly geeky and densely scientific, so it is understandable if the general public hasn't explored them to their fullest. The great Carl Sagan was perhaps the first to recognize the potential public interest in actual Martian sounds. Sylvestre Maurice, a planetary scientist at the Research Institute in Astrophysics and Planetology in France, told Space.com:
"It's science, but it's a little bit different… It's cool, not obscure."