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    DLR Executive Board Chair Anke Kaysser-Pyzalla in the control room during the commanding test

    DLR Ex­ec­u­tive Board Chair Anke Kaysser-Pyza­l­la in the con­trol room dur­ing the com­mand­ing test

    July 22, 2021 
    DLR Ex­ec­u­tive Board Chair Anke Kaysser-Pyza­l­la was a guest at the Ger­man Space Op­er­a­tions Cen­ter on 22 Ju­ly 2021 and ob­served the EGS-CC satel­lite test live at the con­sole. In the im­age: Anke Kaysser-Pyza­l­la and Chris­tian Stan­gl of DLR Space Op­er­a­tions and As­tro­naut Train­ing.
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    The mineral olivine

    The min­er­al olivine

    July 22, 2021 
    Credit: Oliver Grobe, AWI (CC BY-SA 2.5)  |  Download
    Olivine is a green iron-mag­ne­sium sil­i­cate that oc­curs very fre­quent­ly in Earth’s up­per man­tle and in vol­canic melts with a low pro­por­tion of sil­i­con. Earth’s en­tire ocean floor con­sists of so­lid­i­fied lavas with a high pro­por­tion of olivine min­er­als, as do vol­canic re­gions such as the Eifel, Hawaii or Mount Et­na. The ex­am­ple of the typ­i­cal green olivine min­er­als on a basalt stone shown here comes from the vol­cano Mount Ere­bus in Antarc­ti­ca. On­ly at a depth of about 700 kilo­me­tres does the pres­sure in Earth's man­tle be­come so high that olivine changes in­to per­ovskite-group min­er­als, in which the same atoms are ‘pressed’ in­to a denser crys­tal lat­tice. The lat­est re­search re­sults de­rived from quake waves now show that the man­tle of Mars, which is just over 1500 kilo­me­tres thick, is more like the up­per, olivine-rich man­tle of Earth than the low­er man­tle.
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    Traces of marsquakes from the past

    Traces of marsquakes from the past

    July 22, 2021 
    Credit: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin  |  Download
    Traces of tec­ton­ic stress­es and marsquakes are om­nipresent on our plan­e­tary neigh­bour. Pat­terns of al­most lin­ear and par­al­lel frac­ture struc­tures caused by the stretch­ing of the brit­tle crust and the re­sult­ing frac­tures are very com­mon, par­tic­u­lar­ly in the south­ern high­lands, which are more than three bil­lion years old. The stretch­ing cre­ates ad­di­tion­al space per­pen­dic­u­lar to the di­rec­tion of the act­ing tec­ton­ic force, in­to which en­tire blocks of crust sag and crustal seg­ments re­main be­tween these sagged blocks, cre­at­ing a char­ac­ter­is­tic land­scape pat­tern known in ge­o­log­i­cal ter­mi­nol­o­gy world­wide by the Ger­man terms ‘Horst and Graben’. Such ma­jor struc­tural changes are al­ways ac­com­pa­nied by strong quakes. Ex­am­ples on Earth are the East African Rift Val­ley or the Up­per Rhine Graben.
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    Cross-section of the SEIS seismometer

    Cross-sec­tion of the SEIS seis­mome­ter

    July 22, 2021 
    Credit: IPGP/D. Ducros  |  Download
    SEIS is a seis­mome­ter for mea­sur­ing move­ments in the Mar­tian soil at dif­fer­ent fre­quen­cies. It con­tains six seis­mic and oth­er aux­il­iary sen­sors. The in­stru­ment was de­vel­oped and built by the French space agen­cy (CNES) with the par­tic­i­pa­tion of the Max Planck In­sti­tute for So­lar Sys­tem Re­search in Göt­tin­gen. At the heart of the SEIS ex­per­i­ment are three pen­du­lums that re­act to even the small­est move­ments in the Mar­tian sur­face. The mo­tion of the pen­du­lums is record­ed elec­tron­i­cal­ly. Be­cause ma­te­ri­als ex­pand as they warm and con­tract when they cool, SEIS is equipped with a so­phis­ti­cat­ed ther­mal sys­tem in the form of sev­er­al in­su­la­tion shells, com­pa­ra­ble to the 'onion-skin prin­ci­ple' in mod­ern out­door cloth­ing. The shells re­duce the tem­per­a­ture fluc­tu­a­tions at the sen­sors so that mea­sur­ing con­di­tions al­ways re­main sta­ble in­side the in­stru­ment. The out­er­most white dome serves specif­i­cal­ly to pro­tect against the wind; a flex­i­ble sys­tem re­sem­bling a win­dow blind en­sures a tight seal at the bot­tom.
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    The SEIS marsquake station

    The SEIS marsquake sta­tion

    July 22, 2021 
    Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech  |  Download
    A cam­era on the deck of the In­Sight plat­form filmed a ‘flip-book’ time lapse of the weath­er over a Mar­tian day. In the cen­tre of the im­age, the seis­mome­ter can be seen un­der its wind­shield. The in­stru­ment is so sen­si­tive that it can mea­sure the tiny vi­bra­tions of the Mar­tian soil gen­er­at­ed by the wind, dust dev­ils and the slight move­ments of the teth­er used to trans­fer da­ta. To re­duce this noise in the da­ta, the scoop of the robot arm will now be used to cov­er the teth­er with sand to bet­ter fix it in place.

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