Dec. 7, 2018: NASA's InSight lander, which touched down on Mars just 10 days ago, has provided the first ever "sounds" of Martian winds 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 mph (5 to 7 meters a second) on Dec. 1, from northwest to southeast. The winds were consistent with the direction of dust devil streaks in the landing area, which were observed from orbit.
|Launch Date||May 5, 2018 | 11:05 UTC|
|Launch Site||Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, USA|
|Status||Instrument Checkout Phase|
|Nation||United States, France, Germany|
|Alternate Names||Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport|
InSight — which stands for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport — will be the first mission to study the deep interior of Mars.
- InSight will provide the first look at the interior activity of a rocky planet beyond Earth.
- InSight will also investigate the dynamics of Martian tectonic activity and meteorite impacts, which could offer clues about such phenomena on Earth.
- The mission seeks to answer one of science's most fundamental questions: How did the terrestrial planets form?
May 5, 2018 | 11:05 UTC: Launch
Nov. 26, 2018 | 8:10 p.m. UTC: Mars Landing
Launch Vehicle: Atlas V
SEIS (Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure), a six-component seismometer
HP3 (Heat Flow and Physical Properties Probe), a self-penetrating array of temperature sensors
RISE (Rotation and Interior Structure Experiment), which uses the X-band communications system to enable precise tracking of the planet's motion.
InSight also has two cameras to aid in deployment and instrument context; sensors for atmospheric pressure, temperature, and wind and a magnetometer to help determine the external environmental contribution to the seismic signals; and an IR radiometer to measure surface temperatures affecting the heat flow experiment. A small passive laser retroreflector is also mounted on the deck.
Explore more on NASA's InSight Portal.