NASA’s InSight lander ‘hears’ wind on Mars

Dec 10, 2018, 02:53
NASA’s InSight lander ‘hears’ wind on Mars

Winds blowing between 10 and 15 miles per hour over InSight's solar panels caused the spacecraft to vibrate, and short-period seismometers recorded the vibrations.

NASA's InSight lander on the surface of Mars. Hindustan Times delivers the news across all social media platforms, on the web, and at your doorstep. It will detect the lander's movement through the Martian surface, said NASA.

"Today we can see the first glimpses of our workspace", said InSight principal investigator Bruce Banerdt.

"In some sense, this is what it would sound like if you were sitting on the Insight lander on Mars".

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Nasa said that the air pressure sensor used to collect meteorological data recorded these air vibrations directly.

InSight's seismometer and another sensor picked up the noise, and it was not planned. "It's like InSight is cupping its ears and hearing the Mars wind beating on it", he said. Lockheed Martin Space in Denver built the InSight spacecraft, including its cruise stage and lander, and supports spacecraft operations for the mission.

NASA's Insight lander has captured audio that it labelled an "unplanned treat", where motion sensors on the vessel were able to detect sound waves.

Less than two weeks have passed since InSight touched down on the Surface of the Red Planet and we're already receiving fantastic data that we can contemplate.

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Another imaging device, known as the Instrument Context Camera, is mounted beneath the lander's deck to provide a different perspective for placement. A seismometer will record marsquakes, a heat flow probe will measure how much heat is flowing out of Mars' interior and antennas will track the wobble of Mars' North Pole. According to the NASA site, "When earthquakes occur on Earth, their vibrations, which bounce around inside our planet, make it "ring" similar to how a bell creates sound".

JPL manages InSight for NASA's Science Mission Directorate.

The first image the lander sent back right after it made its successful landing was obstructed and hard to make out because the lens cap was still on the camera but with the cap off the photos are far more clear now.

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