The first results from the mission depict a complex Martian interior and geology, but raise new questions about the planet’s history

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An illustration of the Mars InSight rover perched on the surface for observations. Image: NASA/JPL-CALTECH

By Neel V. Patel

On the outside, Mars is a cold, barren hellscape. But beneath the surface, it is teeming with quakes and other geological activity.

That’s the story we’re learning from the first results from NASA’s InSight mission, published across several papers in Nature Geoscience (and one in Nature Communications). InSight is a lander that’s been perched on the surface of Mars since November 2018 at a location known as Elysium Planitia.

“We finally have established that Mars is a seismically active planet,” says Bruce Banerdt, the principal investigator for InSight. …

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