NASA JPL dixit:
“Starting next year, scientists will get their first look deep below the surface of Mars. That’s when NASA will send the first robotic lander dedicated to exploring the planet’s subsurface. InSight, which stands for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, will study marsquakes to learn about the Martian crust, mantle and core.
When rocks crack or shift, they give off seismic waves that bounce throughout a planet. These waves, better known as quakes, travel at different speeds depending on the geologic material they travel through. Seismometers, like InSight’s SEIS instrument, measure the size, frequency and speed of these quakes, offering scientists a snapshot of the material they pass through.
Mars’ geologic record includes lighter rocks and minerals — which rose from the planet’s interior to form the Martian crust — and heavier rocks and minerals that sank to form the Martian mantle and core. By learning about the layering of these materials, scientists can explain why some rocky planets turn into an “Earth” rather than a “Mars” or “Venus” — a factor that is essential to understanding where life can appear in the universe.
Each time a quake happens on Mars, it will give InSight a “snapshot” of ...