Published: Sat, December 08, 2018
Sci-tech | By April Francis

These Newly-Released Selfies From NASA's Mars InSight Lander Are Extremely Cool

These Newly-Released Selfies From NASA's Mars InSight Lander Are Extremely Cool

It was just a couple of weeks ago that NASA's shiny new InSight lander successfully touched down on the Red Planet, sending cheers throughout NASA and the scientific community as a whole.

The sounds released include data from InSight's seismometer of vibrations caused by wind moving over the lander's solar panels and from the lander's air presser sensor.

The Instrument Deployment Camera (IDC), located on the robotic arm of NASA's InSight lander, took this image of the Martian surface the day the spacecraft touched down on the Red Planet, and was relayed from InSight to Earth via NASA's Odyssey spacecraft, now orbiting Mars, on November 26, 2018. Scientists estimate the wind was blowing between 10 and 15MPH.

To better hear this bass sound, it's better you bring out your headphones, or your subwoofer, as NASA suggested. It will also record the sound of the instrument's laser as it zaps different materials, helping to identify the material based on the sound it makes. "A haunting low rumble" was recorded by the rover, which detected the vibrations from wind blowing across its large solar panels.

NASA just announced it has heard the first-ever "sounds" of wind on Mars.

"Capturing this audio was an unplanned treat", said InSight principal investigator, Bruce Banerdt. The scheduled Mars 2020 Rover will have on board microphones for the objective of recording the sound of the landing. The air pressure sensor, part of the Auxiliary Payload Sensor Subsystem (APSS), which will collect meteorological data, recorded these air vibrations directly.

According to NASA, InSight is now in the process of setting up its instruments on Mars. Banerdt says the sounds still have an otherworldly quality to them, which is fitting considering they come from so far away. NASA's Mars Polar Lander was carrying a microphone when it crashed into Mars in 1999. In the near future, InSight will place the seismometer tool used to detect the vibrations on the planet's surface.

The air pressure sensor inside the shield will be relocated as well, and the team will gather data at night, when it expects the wind will have died down and the lander itself will be making less noise.

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