NASA’s InSight lander ‘hears’ Martian winds

  • NASA’s InSight lander, which touched down on Mars on November 26, 2018, has provided the first-ever “sounds” of Martian wind on the Red Planet.
  • InSight sensors captured a haunting low rumble caused by vibrations from the wind, estimated to be blowing between 10 to 15 miles per hour on December 1, NASA said. 
  • According to NASA, two very sensitive sensors on the spacecraft detected these wind vibrations. The two instruments recorded the wind noise in different ways. 
  • The air pressure sensor, which will collect meteorological data, recorded these air vibrations directly. The seismometer recorded lander vibrations caused by the wind moving over the spacecraft’s solar panels. 
  • InSight landed safely at Elysium Planitia on Mars on November 26, kicking off a two-year mission to explore the deep interior of the Red Planet.

InSight and its landing

  •  Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) lander had successfully touched down on the Red Planet on November 26, 2018 after an almost seven-month, 300-million-mile (458-million-kilometer) journey from Earth. 
  • InSight’s two-year mission will be to study the deep interior of Mars to learn how all celestial bodies with rocky surfaces, including Earth and the Moon, formed. 
  • InSight was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California May 5,2018.  
  • The landing signal was relayed to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, via NASA’s two small experimental Mars Cube One (MarCO) CubeSats, which launched on the same rocket as InSight and followed the lander to Mars. They were the first CubeSats sent into deep space. After successfully carrying out a number of communications and in-flight navigation experiments, the twin MarCOs were set in position to receive transmissions during InSight’s entry, descent and landing.

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