NASA Mars lander covered its seismometer like a gourmet meal

This cover will keep InSight’s seismometer safe. 

NASA/JPL-Caltech

My compliments to the chef. NASA’s Mars InSight lander performed a maneuver that wouldn’t look out of place in a high-end restaurant when it daintily set a protective cover over its marsquake-seeking seismometer.

NASA posted a GIF over the weekend showing the operation. The lander’s robotic arm lifted up the cover and placed it on top of the seismometer on the ground. 

The cover will shield the instrument from winds and temperature fluctuations. “Stay cozy in there, little guy!” the InSight team wrote.

InSight first positioned the seismometer in December, but NASA took its time to make sure everything was in the right place before covering it up. 

The lander touched down Nov. 26, 2018, on a mission to study Mars’ interior so we can learn more about how rocky planets are formed. 

InSight’s scientific studies are still in the early stages, but it’s already introduced us to the haunting “sounds” of the red planet and given us a fascinating view of a previously unexplored section of Mars.

We can now look forward to hearing more about the planet’s stomach rumblings as the seismometer goes to work. Bon appétit!

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