|On Dec. 24, 2021, our InSight Mars lander recorded a significant marsquake on the Red Planet. Only later did scientists discover the cause of the shaking: a meteoroid strike estimated to be one of the biggest seen on Mars since NASA began exploring the cosmos. |
What’s more, the meteoroid’s impact kicked up boulder-size chunks of ice buried beneath the Martian surface–a discovery with big implications for NASA’s plans to send future astronauts to the Red Planet. Data and images from two NASA spacecraft contributed to the discovery.
InSight’s seismometer “heard” the quake that resulted from the meteoroid’s impact when it occurred last December, and the High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE camera) aboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter “saw” the new crater from orbit in February.