PIA22230: Measuring the Pulse of Mars

Measuring the Pulse of Mars


An artist's rendition of Mars, highlighting one of InSight's goals -- to figure out just how tectonically active Mars is today and how often meteorites impact it.

Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport, or InSight, is scheduled to launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base on the California coast between May 5 through June 8, 2018, and land on Mars six months later. InSight will give the Red Planet its first thorough check up since it formed, 4.5 billion years ago.

The InSight lander carries a seismometer, SEIS, that listens to the pulse of Mars. The seismometer records the waves traveling through the interior structure of a planet. Studying seismic waves tells us what might be creating the waves. On Mars, scientists suspect that the waves may be caused by marsquakes, meteorites striking the surface, or hot, molten magma moving at great depths underneath the surface.

Background Info:

JPL, a division of Caltech in Pasadena, California, manages the InSight Project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Lockheed Martin Space, Denver, built the spacecraft. InSight is part of NASA's Discovery Program, which is managed by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

For more information about the mission, go to https://mars.nasa.gov/insight .

Cataloging Keywords:

Name Value Additional Values
Target Mars
System Mars
Target Type Planet
Mission Mars InSight
Instrument Host
Host Type Lander
Extra Keywords Artwork, Color
Acquisition Date
Release Date 2018-01-25
Date in Caption 2018-06-08
Image Credit NASA/JPL-Caltech
Source photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA22230
Identifier PIA22230