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NASA Spies InSight Mars Landers From Space To Hunt For Marsquakes (Photos)



  NASA Spies InSight Mars Landers From Space To Hunt For Marsquakes (Photos)

On the left side are photos of the Mars InSight Lander: its fully inserted seismometer at the top and its seismometer Instrument before use at the bottom. On the right side are images taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter showing the InSight Lander on the Martian surface.

Credit: NASA

NASA's InSight Lander was busy on Mars to begin scientific observations, and the mission has passed another milestone. At the weekend, the spacecraft began preparing for the deployment of its last instrument.

This instrument is the heat probe, which, if all goes well, will drill about 5 meters into Mars within about two months. The deconvolution process, as well as that for the lander's seismometer, is based on the claw-like claw at the end of the InSight robotic arm. Since yesterday (February 1

0th), the claw grips the heat probe in preparation for the mission.

When the probe drills into the bottom of the Martian, it takes measurements before flowing over the whole planet. This should help scientists to understand the properties of the Mars regolith.

The heat probe follows its predecessor, the seismometer, which tracks seismic waves through the interior of Mars to map its structure. Scientists believe that the planet is home to so-called Marsquakes that would produce such waves, but the seismometer will also record echoes from meteorite impacts and from the heat probe itself during the drilling process.

Scientists have not only taken pictures of the seismometer from the lander himself, but also from Mars discovered the Reconnaissance Orbiter, the since March 2006 orbiting the planet. One of the instruments on board is a camera called HiRISE, which can take detailed pictures of the surface of the Red Planet.

These images are so detailed that the polygonal sunlight. Fields of the lander itself as well as the white spot of the white protective cover of the seismometer are visible.

E-mail Meghan Bartels at mbartels@space.com or follow her @meghanbartels . Follow us @SpaceTotcom and Facebook


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