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NASA's InSight lander places first instrument on Mars

By The Assam Tribune

LOS ANGELES, Dec 21: NASA's InSight lander has deployed its first instrument onto the surface of Mars, marking the first time a seismometer had ever been placed onto the surface of another planet.

New images from the lander showed the seismometer on the ground, its copper-coloured covering faintly illuminated in the Martian dusk, according to the InSight team on Thursday.

"InSight's timetable of activities on Mars has gone better than we hoped," said InSight Project Manager Tom Hoffman, who is based at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, Xinhua reported.

"Getting the seismometer safely on the ground is an awesome Christmas present," he said.

The InSight team has been working carefully toward deploying its two dedicated science instruments onto Martian soil since landing on Mars on November 26. Besides the seismometer, also known as the Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS), the other one is the heat probe, known as the Heat Flow and Physical Properties Probe (HP3).

Meanwhile, the Rotation and Interior Structure Experiment (RISE), which does not have its own separate instrument, has already begun using InSight's radio connection with Earth to collect preliminary data on the planet's core, said the InSight team. - IANS

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