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Landed on 26/11/2018 at 21:52:59
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InSight

Taking Mars' pulse at ETH Zurich?

NASA's unmanned InSight mission will make this possible by landing geophysical instruments on the surface of the Red Planet, allowing us to explore its interior. The instruments on board will include a seismometer to record marsquakes and meteorite impacts. Several groups at ETH Zurich are responsible for the sensor's data acquisition and control electronics and will evaluate and interpret the acquired data.

News

Successful positioning of seismometer

Successful positioning of seismometer

Since the SEIS package with the sensors was placed on the ground about one meter away from the spacecraft, recent progress has focussed on levelling SEIS. Further work focused on removing ambient noise disturbing SEIS. One source of such noise is probably the tether - the cable between the lander and SEIS.

The tether has been let down to the ground to remove tension in the cable. The past few days have been spent releasing a shunt on the tether near SEIS, creating a mechanical separation between the tether and the seismometer in order to further stop noise reaching the sensor. Additionally, the seismometer has now crouched down in order to hear faint signals better. Now that SEIS is levelled, the main sensor, the VBB, has since begun sending back data. First impressions look good, but there is still a lot of analysis to be conducted.

2018-12-20

Seismometer in position

Seismometer in position

InSight placed today its seismometer on the surface of Mars. We cannot wait to register and analyze first marsquakes!

2018-12-13

News from the Red Planet

News from the Red Planet

InSight landed successfully on Mars on 26 November 2018 and had some time to settle, i.e. extending its robotic arm. An Instrument Deployment Camera (IDC), located on its elbow, is going to take photos of the terrain in front of the lander. 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. A full mosaic of what InSight surroundings look like is expected by early next week.

Another camera, called the Instrument Context Camera, is located under the lander's deck. It will also offer views of the workspace, though the view won't be as pretty as dust accumulated on its lens.
Placement of the instruments is critical, and the team is therefore proceeding with caution. It could take up to two to three months before the instruments have been situated and calibrated.
Two of InSight’s sensors, an air pressure sensor inside the lander and the seismometer sitting on the lander's deck, captured the sound of wind on 1 December 2018, from northwest to southeast.
This is the only phase of the mission during which the seismometer, called the Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS), will be capable of detecting vibrations generated directly by the lander. Soon, it will be placed on the Martian surface by InSight's robotic arm in order to detect the lander's movement, allowing it to detect marsquakes. SEIS will detect vibrations caused by them, that can tell us more about the Red Planet’s interior.
Listen how wind sounds on Mars for yourself here.

Exhibition

2018-03-23 to 2019-06-16

Expedition Solar System

focusTerra looks forward to welcoming you to its special exhibition "Expedition Solar System" at ETH Zurich! Besides InSight, ETH is at the forefront of two other space missions. The exhibition will take you on a journey to the Moon, to Mars, to Venus and all the way to the edge of our solar system.

Learn more

InSight lander

Explore the interactive graphic and learn more about the InSight lander and its instruments.

Cartoon

Learn more about the InSight mission in The Oatmeal's cartoon.