Tuesday , June 28 2022

Landing Mars: NASA's InSight Lander to explore the uncharted interior of the planet


InSight or internal exploration through seismic surveying, geodesy and thermal transport will explore a part of Mars that we know at least: its deep inside. She released May 5th. InSight will spend two years investigating the interior where building blocks under the surface of the planet have recorded their history.

When it arrives, InSight will navigate with 301,223,981 miles at a maximum speed of 6,200 mph, followed by two cubic satellites. Space-sized space ships, called Marco, are the first cubic satellites to fly in deep space. Marco will try to share data about InSight when it enters the Martian landing atmosphere.

"We have been studying Mars from orbit and surface since 1965, learning about weather, atmosphere, geology and surface chemistry," said Lori Glaze, interim director of the Planetary Sciences Division of the NASA Department of Science. "Now we will finally explore Mars and deepen our understanding of our land neighbor as NASA prepares to send human explorers deeper into the solar system."


InSight will roam robotic landing, apart from a few last-minute modifications by the entry, descent, and landing team to the algorithm that guides the ground to the surface.

Landing itself is a difficult maneuver. NASA engineers do not say "seven minutes of terror" for nothing. In less time than it takes to boil an egg, InSight will have to slow down from 12,300 mph to 5 mph before landing lightly on Mars.

"While most of the country enjoys Thanksgiving with family and friends, the InSight team has been busy with the final preparations for Monday's landing," said Tom Hoffman of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) InSight project. "Mars landing is difficult and takes many personal sacrifices, such as the traditional lack of Thanksgiving, but the success of InSight is worth the extraordinary effort."

Countdown on Mars: NASA is sweating

Only 40% of the missions transmitted to the Red Plan by any agency have been successful. Part of this is due to the thin Martian atmosphere, which accounts for only 1% of the Earth's surface, so there is nothing to slow anything that attempts to land on the surface.

Like the Phoenix ships, InSight will have a parachute and retro rockets to slow down the descent through the atmosphere, and three feet suspended from the ground will try to absorb the shock of touching the surface.

But the engineers prepared the spacecraft to land during a storm of dust if needed.

Approximately 20 minutes before landing, InSight will separate from the cruise stage that helped it reach Mars and position itself to enter the atmosphere.

At 14:47 ET, the in-flight, descent and landing phase will begin, and InSight will come in at 12,300 mph. Maximum heating of the thermal shield will reach 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit after two minutes, which will slow down. When intense heat could cause a temporary drop in the radio signal on the boat.

Then the parachute will take place, the boat will separate from the thermal shield, it will move the three legs and activate the radar to feel how far it is from the ground. After receiving the radar signal, it will separate from the remaining shell and parachute, dropping its downward engines, known as retrorockets, to slow down even further.

In a ballet style, InSight will make a gravity turnaround to make sure that the landing gear is in the correct position before it touches you. It will slow down until it reaches a steady 5 mph. Then it will reach 2:54 pm ET.

At 15:01 ET, InSight should send a signal to allow scientists on Earth to know it is alive and well.

"It took more than a decade to bring the InSight concept from a concept to a spacecraft approaching Mars – and even more so since I was inspired for the first time to try to do this kind of mission" , said Bruce Banerdt of JPL and the senior investigator of InSight. "But even after landing, we will have to have the patience for science to begin."

What's going on next

The scientific mission of InSight will not begin immediately. It will take between two and three months for the robotic arm to put the tools of the mission on the surface. Meanwhile, mission scientists will photograph what can be seen from the Lander's perspective and monitor the environment.

But on Tuesday afternoon, we can get the first InSight image of his new house on Mars. And Tuesday night, the orbiting Mars Odyssey should confirm that the ship's solar artillery has been unleashed.

InSight will land at Elysium Planitia, called "the largest parking on Mars" by astronomers. Because it will not move over the surface, the landing place has been an important determination. This place is open, safe and boring, something that scientists want for a two-year stationary mission.

NASA selects the old crater as Mars landing site

After landing, InSight will dismantle its solar panels and robotic arm and study the entire planet from its parking spot. It is along the Martian equator, bright enough and warm enough to feed the lander's solar range throughout the year.

InSight geophysical instruments sounds like a medical bag, giving Mars the first "control" from training. Together, these instruments will measure the vital signs of Mars, such as its pulse, temperature, and reflexes – which translates into internal activity, such as seismology and the planet's wind like the sun and its moons towed on Mars.

These tools include a seismic experiment for indoor structures to investigate what causes the seismic waves on Mars to flow heat and physical properties to rush beneath the surface and cause the heat flowing from the planet and the rotation and internal structure experiment to use radios to study the core of the planet.

"Mars landing is exciting, but scientists are looking forward to the time when InSight has entered," Glaze said. "Once InSight is established on the Red Planet and its tools are being deployed, it will begin collecting valuable information about the structure of the inner depth of Mars – information that will help us understand the formation and evolution of all rocky planets, including what we call The home."

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