NASA’s newest Mars lander will now study the quakes on Red Planet: NASA is poised to launch its first lander to Mars since the year 2012, an unmanning spacecraft called in Sight that aiming to listen for quakes and unravel the mystery of rocky planets like Earth form.
NASA’s newest Mars lander will now study the quakes on Red Planet
It is scheduling to launch on Saturday at 7:05 am Eastern time (1105 GMT) from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, and all go as planning, it should land on the Red Planet in November 26th.
Since the Earth and Mars likely forming by similar processes 4.5 billion years ago, the US space agency hopes the lender officially known as Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy, and Heat Transport in the Sight that will shed light on what makes so different.
How we are getting from a ball of featureless rock into a planet that may or may not support life is a crucial question in planetary science, says Bruce Barnard.
InSight principal investigator at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
We would like to able to understand what is happening. On Earth, these processes have obscuring over billions of years by earthquakes and the movement of the molten rock in the mantle, he says.
But Mars, the fourth planet from the Sun and Earth’s smaller and less geologically active neighbor, may yield more clues.
The lender will collect information using three instruments such as A French-made seismometer, a device to help the scientists on Earth to keep precise track of the lander’s location as Mars rotates, and a self-hammering probe that will monitor the flow of heat in the planet’s subsurface.
The US spent $813.8 million on the spacecraft and rocket launch, while investments on the instruments from France and Germany amounted to $180 million, according to NASA.
A pair of mini-spacecraft that is also launching on the rocket cost NASA $18.5 million.
Known as Mars Cube One, or Marco, the briefcase-sized satellites will fly on their path to Mars behind Insight, and test tiny new deep space communications equipment, NASA says.
– Marsquakes –
Insight aims to rest in an isolated spot and detect mars quakes, which NASA is describing as like a flashbulb that illuminates the structure of the planet’s interior.
The scientist expects to pick up as many as 100 tremors during the mission, which should last about two Earth years or one Martian year. Most of the quakes are expecting to less than 6.0 on Richter scale.
Studying how seismic waves are passing through the crust, mantle, and core of Mars that is help the scientists to learn more about what the layers are making and think they are.
The French Space Agency created the Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure.
The heat probe is called the Heat Flow, and Physical Properties Package made by German Space Agency with the participation of the Polish Space Agency.
NASA’s pair of Viking landers in late year the 1970s has seismometers, but only one of them working. It was much less sensitive because it is bolting in the top of the spacecraft.
In contrast, Insight’s seismometer will be picking up with a robotic arm and placed on earth.
Insight is aiming to be the first NASA instrument to land on Mars since the Curiosity rover which arriving in the year 2012 and is still working.
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