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Swiss electronics to take Mars’ pulse

The spacecraft that landed on the Red Planet is carrying a seismometer controlled by electronics devised at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH Zurich.

This content was published on November 27, 2018 - 14:08

Now Zurich researchers will be analysing the data collected from the mysterious planet's interior. (SRF, swissinfo.ch)

On Monday, the InSight NASA probe successfully landed on Mars after 483 million kilometers (300 million miles) and 205 days in space. 

In order to land, the InSight probe had to overcome more difficulties than previous Mars missions: it was heavier, entered the atmosphere at a slower velocity, and landed at a meteorologically less favorable time due to a high risk of sandstorms. 

But the unmanned mission overcame the odds to land on the surface of the Red Planet, carrying instruments that will allow scientists to explore its interior. Among these is a seismometer that will record Mars' quakes and meteorite impacts. 

The sensor’s data acquisition and control electronics were developed by several teams at ETH Zurich, who will also be responsible for evaluating and interpreting the resulting data.

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