Module InSight “heard” the Martian wind

The mission of NASA InSight, in which only 10 days ago on the surface of Mars dropped the lander and the science lab, sent us the first sounds of Martian winds on the red planet. Sensors InSight caught the faint hum caused by vibrations of the wind, which was estimated to be blowing with a speed of 5-7 meters per second 1 Dec from the North-West to South-East. The winds were consistent with the direction of the bands dusty devils at the landing zone, which was observed from orbit.

“Recording this sound was unplanned,” says Bruce Banerdt, InSight principal investigator at the jet propulsion Laboratory of NASA in Pasadena, California. “But one of the tasks, which is dedicated to our mission, is to measure the motion of Mars. Naturally, this includes movement of sound waves.”

Sounds like Mars?

Two extremely sensitive sensor on the spacecraft detected these oscillations of the wind: the air pressure sensor inside the module and the seismometer, located on the deck of the module in anticipation of the deployment of forces of a robotic manipulator InSight. These two instrument recorded wind noise in different ways. Sensor air pressure that is part of a subsystem Auxiliary Payload Sensor Subsystem (APSS), which collects weather data, recorded fluctuations of the wind directly. The seismometer recorded vibrations of the module, caused by the movement of wind over solar panels of the apparatus, in each of which the diameter is 2.2 meter long and sticks out from the sides of the lander like a pair of giant ears.

This is the only phase of the mission, during which the SEIS seismometer to detect vibrations generated by directly planting apparatus. After a few weeks he’ll be placed on the surface of Mars manipulator InSight, and then lay a domed shield to protect him against changes of wind and temperature.

How about we listen to our brother? Don’t forget headphones. Tell us in our chat in Telegram.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *