NASA’s new Mars lander places quake monitor on red planet’s surface, as it arrived on the Mars. Mars InSight ‘s robotic arm expelled the seismometer from the spacecraft deck and set it on the ground Wednesday to monitor the quakes on Mars. Tom Hoffman, project manager called the milestone an awesome Christmas present.

However, InSight arrived on Mars on November 26. It’s the first run through a robotic arm has brought down a test onto the Martian surface. The ground is marginally tilted, thus flight controllers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, still need to set the seismometer level.

The French dome-shaped seismometer is a little more than 5 feet (1.6 meters) before the stationary lander, about to the extent the arm can reach. Banerdt wants to open Champagne once seismic estimations begin coming in.

InSight’s arm will put a breeze cover by next month over the seismometer and set down another investigation. The warmth test, named the mole, will tunnel up to 16 feet (5 meters) into Mars to quantify inner temperatures.

Lead scientist, JPL’s Bruce Banerdt said in a statement that, “Seismometer deployment is as important as landing InSight on Mars. It’s needed to complete about three-quarters of our science objectives.”


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