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Journal Articles Nature Geoscience Year : 2020

Initial results from the InSight mission on Mars

W. Bruce Banerdt
  • Function : Author
Suzanne E. Smrekar
  • Function : Author
Don Banfield
Domenico Giardini
Matthew Golombek
Catherine L. Johnson
  • Function : Author
Philippe Lognonné
Aymeric Spiga
  • Function : Author
Tilman Spohn
Clément Perrin
Simon C. Stähler
  • Function : Author
Daniele Antonangeli
Sami Asmar
Caroline Beghein
Neil Bowles
Ebru Bozdag
  • Function : Author
Peter Chi
Ulrich Christensen
  • Function : Author
John Clinton
  • Function : Author
Gareth S. Collins
  • Function : Author
Ingrid Daubar
Véronique Dehant
Mélanie Drilleau
Matthew Fillingim
William Folkner
Jim Garvin
John Grant
Matthias Grott
Jerzy Grygorczuk
  • Function : Author
Troy Hudson
Jessica C. E. Irving
  • Function : Author
Günter Kargl
  • Function : Author
Taichi Kawamura
Sharon Kedar
  • Function : Author
Scott King
Brigitte Knapmeyer-Endrun
Martin Knapmeyer
Mark Lemmon
Ralph Lorenz
Justin N. Maki
  • Function : Author
Ludovic Margerin
Scott M. Mclennan
  • Function : Author
Chloe Michaut
Anna Mittelholz
Antoine Mocquet
  • Function : Author
Paul Morgan
  • Function : Author
Nils T. Mueller
  • Function : Author
Seiichi Nagihara
  • Function : Author
Claire Newman
Francis Nimmo
Mark Panning
W. Thomas Pike
Ana-Catalina Plesa
  • Function : Author
Sébastien Rodriguez
Christopher T. Russell
  • Function : Author
Nicholas Schmerr
Matt Siegler
  • Function : Author
Sabine Stanley
  • Function : Author
Eléanore Stutzmann
  • Function : Author
Nicholas Teanby
Jeroen Tromp
Martin van Driel
  • Function : Author
Nicholas Warner
Renee Weber
  • Function : Author
Mark Wieczorek


NASA’s InSight (Interior exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) mission landed in Elysium Planitia on Mars on 26 November 2018. It aims to determine the interior structure, composition and thermal state of Mars, as well as constrain present-day seismicity and impact cratering rates. Such information is key to understanding the differentiation and subsequent thermal evolution of Mars, and thus the forces that shape the planet’s surface geology and volatile processes. Here we report an overview of the first ten months of geophysical observations by InSight. As of 30 September 2019, 174 seismic events have been recorded by the lander’s seismometer, including over 20 events of moment magnitude Mw = 3–4. The detections thus far are consistent with tectonic origins, with no impact-induced seismicity yet observed, and indi- cate a seismically active planet. An assessment of these detections suggests that the frequency of global seismic events below approximately Mw = 3 is similar to that of terrestrial intraplate seismic activity, but there are fewer larger quakes; no quakes exceeding Mw = 4 have been observed. The lander’s other instruments—two cameras, atmospheric pressure, temperature and wind sensors, a magnetometer and a radiometer—have yielded much more than the intended supporting data for seismometer noise characterization: magnetic field measurements indicate a local magnetic field that is ten-times stronger than orbital estimates and meteorological measurements reveal a more dynamic atmosphere than expected, hosting baroclinic and gravity waves and convective vortices. With the mission due to last for an entire Martian year or longer, these results will be built on by further measurements by the InSight lander.



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hal-02641353 , version 1 (28-05-2020)



W. Bruce Banerdt, Suzanne E. Smrekar, Don Banfield, Domenico Giardini, Matthew Golombek, et al.. Initial results from the InSight mission on Mars. Nature Geoscience, 2020, 13 (3), pp.183-189. ⟨10.1038/S41561-020-0544-Y⟩. ⟨hal-02641353⟩
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