InSight probe: the French seismometer deployed on Mars was able to begin its work

This was one of the milestones of the end of 2018: A new machine is being installed. on the plane Mars - NASA Insight Probe - and all is well for her. We learned this week ...

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Synthetic image where we see the SEIS instrument with its protection shield against the wind and thermal variations. It is a white dome that will cover the seismometer without touching it. © Nasa

This was one of the milestones of the end of 2018: a new craft landed on Mars - NASA's Insight probe - and everything is fine for her. We learned this week that its main instrument, a seismometer, is working as expected. It was not won for this very fragile object that must detect the tremors of the red planet.

After landing safely on Mars soil at the end of November, the American probe InSight has successfully deployed its main instrument: Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS), a French seismometer that will have to capture and record the pulsations of the red planet .

It was not played in advance, as the craft is fragile. To perceive the Martian earthquakes, it must be placed perfectly flat, sheltered from any vibration.

Now remains to protect it from the wind, by posing at the top a kind of protective dome. Although it is not yet fully operational, SEIS has already started its work. He was able to discover that the Martian soil is more stable than the calmest of the terrestrial soils.

A measure that confirms what we already know: Mars is a dead planet without telluric activity. Scientists hope, however, that despite the calm that reigns on the red planet, from time to time, an earthquake is triggered. It would then be immediately detected by this instrument and the analysis of the data could thus inform us about the composition of the interior of Mars.

Important information to understand why this planet is now dead, while its neighbor, the Earth, is still active.