The InSight probe, carrying the SEIS seismometer designed at the IPGP, landed on Mars this Monday, November 26.

After years of research, months of tuning, thousands of hours of work, a journey of 485 million kilometers, and “7 minutes of terror”, the InSight probe, the result of international collaboration and carrying the SEIS seismometer designed at the IPGP, landed on Mars in November 26.

The 12th mission of NASA’s Discovery Program, InSight aims to study the internal structure of Mars and to understand the formation and evolution of the rock planets of the Solar System.

Its scientific goal is to better understand the internal structure of Mars, how the planet was formed and how it evolved to become the current frozen desert. Thanks to sophisticated geophysical instruments, never used on Mars, InSight will measure the seismic activity of the red planet, its internal heat flow and the subtle variations of its rotation speed.

The seismometer SEIS is the central instrument of the mission. The Institute de Physique du Globe de Paris (IPGP) ensures scientific responsibility, under CNES project management. The InSight-IPGP team of engineers and researchers designed and tested VBB (Very Broad Band) sensors. The objective of SEIS is to analyze “Mars tremors” and meteorite impacts to visualize its interior.

The Labex UnivEarthS has been supporting and actively funding for many years the Project From Dust to Planets, which among other involves the Insight mission. Dr. Eleni Chatzichristou, deputy director of EURILST, is the project coordinator of the UnivEarthS.

Find all the challenges of the InSight mission and the SEIS seismometer on the website: https://www.seis-insight.eu/en/

The Labex UnivEarthS project I6: From Dust to Planets can be found at:  http://www.univearths.fr/en/univearths-projects/interface-projects/i6-from-dust-to-planets/

Eleni T. Chatzichristou

PhD Astrophysicics

Deputy Director EURILST