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

Those listening on a laptop or their phone might not be able to hear the original sound of the wind blowing across the lander's solar panels because the pitch is so low.

InSight, which landed on 26 November 2018, will study the inside of Mars to learn how planets, moons and meteorites with rocky surfaces, including the Earth and its Moon, formed. Shown are the lander's arm (top), its 2.2 metre wide solar panel, one of its two TWINS temperature and wind sensors (left of centre), its UHF antenna (bottom centre), its SEIS seimometer (bottom left), and the white dome (centre left) now covers its pressure sensor.

During the first few weeks in its new home, InSight has been instructed to be extra careful, so anything unexpected will trigger what's called a fault.

Two very sensitive sensors on the spacecraft detected these wind vibrations: an air pressure sensor inside the lander and a seismometer sitting on the lander's deck, awaiting deployment by InSight's robotic arm.

The wind sound can be heard on the video above.

The wind you hear in this recording is blowing at between 10 and 15 mph (5 to 7 meters per second) and originates from northwest of the lander, the scientists reported.

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"Capturing this audio was an unplanned treat", said InSight principal investigator Bruce Banerdt, according to NASA.

However NASA promise an even clearer sound of the Red Planet is coming with the Mars 2020 rover that will have two microphones on board.

NASA also released an audio track from InSight's air pressure sensor, with the data sped up by a factor of 100 to bring it into human hearing range.

"It's a little like a flag waving in the wind", he added. Until then, the team plans to record more wind noise.

The craft's landing comes as part of NASA's mission to explore the planet's deep interior.

In the meantime, the sounds of the Martian wind are a poignant reminder of just how far InSight has flown: more than 300 million miles (480 million kilometers), becoming only the eighth spacecraft to successfully touch down on the Red Planet. "We are really going to have an opportunity to understand the processes that control the early planetary formation".