NASA InSight mission is the first to that has placed a seismometer inside Mars. However, now, mission controllers at NASA’s Propulsion Laboratory will have to calibrate the instrument because the ground is slightly tilted.
The new NASA Mars probe has installed a seismometer on the dusty red surface of Mars within weeks after its arrival. The robot arm of the InSight rover removed the device from a compartment and placed it into the ground of the Red Planet on Wednesday with the goal of tracking the “marsquakes.” Project director Tom Hoffman described the milestone as “a great Christmas present.”
The InSight mission is the first to “listen” to the Martian interior in the search for evidence to prove that the Red Planet is still presenting geological activity and it’s not a dead planet as we see it from the surface. As mentioned, the mission controllers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, will now have to calibrate the seismometer NASA’s InSight mission installed.
NASA’s InSight Mission Planted A Seisometer On Mars, And It Gets Ready For The Next Task
The device, which is shaped like a dome, was placed just over 1.6 meters (5 feet) from the front of the stationary InSihgt probe, the maximum distance the robotic arm can reach.
During January 2019, NASA InSight’s robotic arm will put a wind cover over the seismometer and start another experiment. A calorimeter, nicknamed “the mole,” will be buried 5 meters (16 feet) in the underground of Mars to measure the planet’s internal temperatures.
“The deployment of the seismometer is as important as InSight’s arrival on Mars,” Bruce Banerdt, the senior scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said in a statement. “It is necessary to complete three-quarters of our scientific objectives,” he continued.
Banerdt admitted that he plans to celebrate the arrival of seismograph measurements with a bottle of champagne.