NASA's InSight lander captures vibrations from the breeze on Mars

Posted December 10, 2018

Sound frequency is in the lower range of human hearing, that is, he is too much bass, so NASA experts have improved the frequency two octaves below the sound could be heard on mobile devices.

"Two very sensitive sensors on the spacecraft detected these wind vibrations: an air pressure sensor inside the lander and a seismometer sitting on the lander's deck, awaiting deployment by InSight's robotic arm".

"Capturing this audio was an unplanned treat", said Bruce Banerdt, a NASA investigator of the mission. What has been captured is the sound of the red planet - distinct, low, humming winds.

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According to reports, InSight sensors captured a haunting low rumble caused by vibrations from the wind, estimated to be blowing between 10 to 15 miles per hour (5 to 7 meters a second) on December 1, from northwest to southeast.

With a reach of almost 6 feet (2 meters), the arm will be used to pick up science instruments from the lander's deck, gently setting them on the Martian surface at Elysium Planitia, the lava plain where InSight touched down on November 26. The seismometer will be moved to the Martian surface in the coming weeks; until then, the team plans to record more wind noise. Lockheed Martin Space in Denver built the InSight spacecraft, including its cruise stage and lander, and supports spacecraft operations for the mission. The air pressure sensor, part of the Auxiliary Payload Sensor Subsystem (APSS), which will collect meteorological data, recorded these air vibrations directly.

The reason for having a seismometer on the lander is to see if earthquakes (which on Mars are called Marsquakes) behave in the same way as they do on earth. NASA refers to the craft's task of learning about the planet's seismic waves as "taking the planet's pulse".

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InSight is the first Martian lander to study the "inner space" of the planet in-depth.

For now, however, the lander is still on the process of unfurling and booting its sophisticated scientific equipment in preparation for its mission.

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