InSight has deployed the first sensor on Mars

Insight has placed its first intrument on Mars

After weeks of testing its sensor modules, following the landing in November, NASA’s InSight has deployed the seismography instrument on the Martian Surface.

The module which is named “Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure” (SEIS), it the first of the three modules to be deployed. SEISS will be used to listen to the “marsquakes” or interior movement below the surface of Mars.

This marks the first time a seismograph has been placed on another planet.

We’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time. It’s been 130 years since the first seismic record on Earth and almost 50 years since a seismometer was placed on the Moon during the Apollo program. What we learn from SEIS will shed light on how Mars formed and evolved.

– Philippe Lognonné, Principal Investigator of InSight program

The seismometer will measure seismic waves generated from not just marsquakes but also meteorite strikes and other phenomena. Measuring these seismic waves and studying them will help the scientists understand how Mars was formed and reveal more about the formation of Earth and Moon.

The seismometers are so sensitive that it can detect tremors smaller than a hydrogen atom, and can also be used to measure weather phenomenon, like the recent sounds of Martian winds.

Apart from the seismometer, InSight is also carrying a Heat Probe and a sensor to detect and locate Mars’ Magnetic North Pole.


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