NASA's InSight lander 'hears' wind on Mars

InSight is designed to study the interior of Mars like never before using seismology instruments to detect quakes and a self-hammering mole to measure heat escape from the planet's crust

The air pressure sensor, which will collect meteorological data, recorded these air vibrations directly.

"In some sense, this is what it would sound like if you were sitting on the Insight lander on Mars".

NASA's InSight spacecraft took a color-calibrated image of its robotic arm using its Instrument Deployment Camera on December 4.

"Capturing this audio was an unplanned treat", Bruce Banerdt, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said in a press release. It is the first device engaged in advanced study of crust, mantle, and core of the red planet.

The seismometer of the spacecraft also recorded sound vibrations, it added.

A version of the sounds was altered to be more perceptible to the human ears, according to Nasa. Soon, though, the instruments will not be able to detect the vibrations directed by the lander because, in a few weeks, they will be covered with a domed shield to protect their data from influences of wind and temperature changes.

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These images will help mission team members determine where to set InSight's seismometer and heat flow probe - the only instruments ever to be robotically placed on the surface of another planet.

Less than two weeks have passed since InSight touched down on the Surface of the Red Planet and we're already receiving awesome data that we can contemplate.

"The solar panels on the lander's sides respond to pressure fluctuations of the wind". "It's like InSight is cupping its ears and hearing the Mars wind beating on it", he said. "When we looked at the direction of the lander vibrations coming from the solar panels, it matches the expected wind direction at our landing site". InSight will see if tremors, or marsquakes, have a similar effect on Mars.

There are more scheduled recordings to come from the surface of Mars. The low-frequency rumblings were collected by the InSight lander during its first week of operations at Mars.

JPL's Tom Hoffman, project manager for the InSight mission, said the view will be a bit hazy, due to dust and debris that was thrown up during last week's landing.

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