Washington, Berlin, Graz – Insight in the planet's most intimate structure Mars wants to get NASA's "InSight" mission. The provincial probe will be interrupted Monday night on the red planet and will take over in the coming months as a geophysical observer. The Institute for Space Research in Graz (IMF) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences is involved in data evaluation.
The NASA survey "InSight" aims to reach the bottom of the planet. If everything goes well, the lander, which was launched in May, will land in the Elysium Planitia region, north of the Mars equator, around 21:00, after a journey of about 485 million kilometers. For two years he will conduct geophysical investigations on Mars's inner structure. Researchers hope to draw conclusions about the early history of the red planet and, ultimately, the formation of the earth more than four billion years ago.
Onboard are scientific instruments that researchers use to study the interior of Mars. Last Nasa 2012 has successfully brought "Curiosity" to Mars. Landings on the Red Planet are considered extremely difficult – only 40% of all the world-wide martial missions have been successful, according to NASA.
The construction of the planet must be explored
"InSight" weighs 360 pounds and completes its seven-month journey on the planet Earth neighbor with a speed of up to 10,000 kilometers per hour. After entering the Martian atmosphere, the flying object must descend with braking missiles and a parachute. Researchers control the robot at a control center in Pasadena, California.
Through a combination of specialized instruments, InSight can hear deep beneath the surface of Mars. Among other things, "impulse rate" (seismic), "fever curve" (planetary heat flux) and planet's reflexes (rotation fluctuations) are examined, as described by Günther Kargl from ÖAW's Space Research Institute. Austrian researchers are also involved in the mission: the IMF in Graz is responsible for evaluating part of the scientific data collected during the mission.
Firstly, heat flow and physical properties check (HP3) should be done by a special mechanism reminiscent of a hammer embedded hammer. With his help you can sink into the Martian soil. Subsequently, in December, it will be really interesting for IMF experts: they will draw conclusions on the soil's mechanical properties in the Martian surface based on measurement data recorded at the time of penetration of the device.
"We want to reach at least three meters of ground, the target depth would be five meters," Kargl said. To reach this depth, about 10,000 results are required. The contribution of the IMF is to investigate the soil's mechanical properties, which can be derived from the penetration behavior of HP3 moth in the Martian soil. "IWF's participation was also technically supported by the Institute of Mechanics of the Soil and Engineering Foundation at the University of Technology in Graz and was funded by the Austrian Agency for the Promotion of FFG Research.
Further, surface manipulation with the tool blade is also made to determine the additional mechanical parameters of the grounded soil with an independent investigation as called by the IMF.
After the landing signal "We have succeeded" is sent
Currently, Mars is about 146 million kilometers from Earth, radio signals require about eight minutes to be received by land stations. "At InSight, two small satellites were fired for the first time, flying behind the provincial probe, and so to speak, we notice the" InSight "immersion in the atmosphere and the next landing sequence on the first row without feet," says Kargl. As soon as the lander has landed safely on the ground, he sends the "I did it" signal.
Because the provincial probe can not communicate directly with the ground, the space probes existing in orbit must jump into relay posts. Due to their web geometry, however, there may be delays in transfer. At the time of landing, it is expected that the "Mars Renaissance" and "Mars Orbiter 2001" spacecraft will be used. (APA / dpa)