NASA's InSight lander 'hears' wind on Mars

NASA's InSight lander 'hears' wind on Mars

NASA's InSight lander 'hears' wind on Mars

A couple instruments are even recording data: a drop in air pressure, possibly caused by a passing dust devil, was detected by the pressure sensor.

After recently beaming back a selfie of its robotic arm raised in triumph, as the Inquisitr reported on Wednesday, the InSight Mars lander has snapped another photo of its 6-feet-long appendage.

"Capturing this audio was an unplanned treat", said Bruce Banerdt, InSight principal investigator at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California. It is the first device engaged in advanced study of crust, mantle, and core of the red planet.

A second version of the audio was also released with the audio pitched slightly higher, where the sound is more perceivable to the human ear.

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It'll take at least a couple of months to get the instruments situated and calibrated for InSight's primary mission, which aims to document seismic activity and subsurface heat flow over the course of an entire Martian year (or about two Earth years).

The wind was detected by two sensitive sensors on InSight. "The seismometer recorded lander vibrations caused by the wind moving over the spacecraft's solar panels". It's like InSight is cupping its ears and hearing the Mars wind beating on it. The lander will also measure the tectonic activity and meteorite impacts on Mars. 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".

The lander is also sharing numerous photos on its Twitter account and sharing information about its progress on Mars. "We have a great team, and we're doing incredible things every day at NASA", NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said.

NASA sent microphones to Mars on the Mars Polar Lander spacecraft in 1999, which crashed during its landing attempt, and on the Phoenix Mars lander; that instrument was left turned off, however, because it could have caused problems during landing.

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