On Mars, NASA gets the lid on


The InSight lander moves one step closer to full operation.


nSight’s seismometer is now protected from wind and temperature.

All ready to rock: InSight’s seismometer is now protected from wind and temperature.

NASA/JPL-Caltech

Gearing up for some serious science, NASA mission controllers this week completed the delicate task of deploying the Mars InSight lander’s Wind and Thermal Shield, covering the craft’s seismometer, which has been in position since December 19.

The shield acts to isolate the seismometer from wind, ensuring a clean signal, and insulates it from temperature fluctuations. Its aerodynamic shape, together with a “skirt” made from thermal insulation and chainmail, mean that it is firmly anchored to the ground.

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