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NASA’s InSight lander

Published: 5th Apr, 2021

Nasa’s InSight lander has recorded over 500 quakes to date on Mars since its touchdown


Nasa’s InSight lander has recorded over 500 quakes to date on Mars since its touchdown


  • NASA’s InSight lander has detected two strong, clear quakes originating in a location of Mars called Cerberus Fossae the same place where two strong quakes were seen earlier in the mission.
  • The planet doesn’t have tectonic plates like Earth, but it does have volcanically active regions that can cause rumbles.
  • These findings support the idea that the planet is seismically active.

 InSight Lander and its significance

  • NASA's InSight lander opens a window into the "inner space" of Mars.
  • Its instruments peer deeper than ever into the Martian subsurface, seeking the signatures of the processes that shaped the rocky planets of the inner Solar System, more than four billion years ago.
  • InSight's findings are expected to shed light on the formation of Mars, Earth, and even rocky exoplanets.
  • The lander builds on the proven design of NASA's Mars Phoenix lander.

InSight Mission

  • The Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) mission is a robotic Lander designed to study the deep interior of the planet Mars.
  • It was manufactured by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and most of its scientific instruments were built by European agencies.
  • Insight’s objectives are to place a seismometer, called SEIS, on the surface of Mars to measure seismic activity and provide accurate 3D models of the planet's interior; and measure internal heat flow using a heat probe called HP3 to study Mars' early geological evolution.
  • InSight was initially known as GEMS (Geophysical Monitoring Station).

    India’s Mars Orbiter Mission

    • It is also called Mangalyaan.
    • It is India's first interplanetary mission and it made it the fourth space agency to achieve Mars orbit, after Roscosmos, NASA, and the European Space Agency.
    • It made India the first Asian nation to reach Martian orbit and the first nation in the world to do so on its maiden attempt.
    • The Mars Orbiter Mission probe lifted-off from the First Launch Pad at Satish Dhawan Space Centre.
    • It used a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) rocket.

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