NASA's Mars Lander Is Going To Have A Very Busy Two Years

NASA

First pic All about NASA’s two-year mission to Mars	 0
By
Purvai Dua
at	
3:14

NASA First pic All about NASA’s two-year mission to Mars 0 By Purvai Dua at 3:14

It's hoped that the radio telescopes will pick up those signals, though NASA also has a couple of CubeSats orbiting Mars that could help relay the signals.

As well as portraying the grubby red ground that is now the InSight lander's home, the photo signifies a lucrative close to a journey that took seven months from Earth and concluded with an anxious few hours as InSight took off through the Martian atmosphere.

The area where InSight is landing is called Elysium Planitia, a particularly flat area of Mars where hazardous loose rocks are absent.

This is the eighth successful Mars landing.

Next, InSight must open its solar arrays, as Nasa waits until later in the afternoon to learn if that final, crucial phase went as planned.

Tilman Spohn, principal investigator of the HP3 experiment, said, "our plan is to use these measurements to determine the temperature of Mars' interior and to characterize the current geological activity beneath its crust". On Board there is a seismograph and geophysical thermometer. "We are well on our way to thoroughly investigate what's inside of Mars for the very first time". The solar panels that provide the lander energy for all of its communications equipment and scientific instruments produce 600 to 700 watts on a clear day, less than what a microwave oven uses.

InSight, the first mission to study the deep interior of Mars, blasted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in Central California on May 5, 2018.

France's CNES made the SEIS instrument, while the German Aerospace Center (DLR) provided a self-hammering mole that can burrow five metres into the surface - farther than any instrument before - to measure heat flow.

MarCO-B took this image of Mars from about 4,700 miles (6,000 kilometers) away during its flyby of the planet on November 26, 2018.

"It was nearly hard to believe this wasn't written by some Hollywood writer to put the ideal amount of delay in there - so that everybody sat on the edge of their seat". Thankfully, a later picture captured the Martian surface in better definition, without being obscured by the the translucent lens cap and dust that had made for such a grainy first impression.

"WALL-E and EVE performed just as we expected them to", MarCO chief engineer Andy Klesh at JPL said.

It's possible that humans may make their way up to Mars at some point.

The twin "Cubesats" tagging along for the flight to Mars represented the first deep-space use of a miniature satellite technology that space engineers see as a promising low-priced alternative to some larger, more complex vehicles.

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