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US News NASA Is Practicing Its Next Mars Landing Using Crushed Gemstones

19:30  09 march  2018
19:30  09 march  2018 Source:   europe.newsweek.com

Methane on Saturn’s Moon Enceladus Could Be Sign of Life

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In November, NASA will land its next robot on Mars , which means they have about eight months to practice sticking the landing . And it turns out the mission's engineers are making use of a surprising substance to do so: crushed garnet gemstones , as they revealed in a new

In November, NASA will land its next robot on Mars , which means they have about eight months to practice sticking the landing . And it turns out the mission's engineers are making use of a surprising substance to do so: crushed garnet gemstones , as they revealed in a new

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In November, NASA will land its next robot on Mars , which means they have about eight months to practice sticking the landing . And it turns out the mission's engineers are making use of a surprising substance to do so: crushed garnet gemstones

Read more: NASA Is Practicing Its Next Mars Landing Using Crushed Gemstones . Don't miss: Kawhi Leonard Return Update: Could Injured Star Leave Spurs after Tony Parker's Comments?

In November, NASA will land its next robot on Mars, which means they have about eight months to practice sticking the landing.

And it turns out the mission's engineers are making use of a surprising substance to do so: crushed garnet gemstones, as they revealed in a new 360-degree video of the testing center.

a person standing in front of a building: 03_09_mars_insight_garnets © Provided by IBT Media (UK) 03_09_mars_insight_garnets NASA has a good scientific reason for its taste in bling: crushed garnet turns out to be a pretty good way to mimic the surface of Mars, which is covered in sand and gravel. 

The term garnet applies to a whole range of specific gemstone chemical compositions and colors that share the same basic properties.

One of those properties is that while garnets are classified as gemstones, they're way more valuable crushed for industrial uses than for sitting around looking pretty. 

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Meanwhile Mars 2, the Soviet space probe sent up in the 1970s, landed in a location that would not be ideal. Russia Will Beat NASA to Mars and Find Water on the Moon, Says Putin. NASA Is Practicing Its Next Mars Landing Using Crushed Gemstones .

For InSight, this phase includes a combination of technologies inherited from past NASA Mars missions such as NASA ’s Phoenix Mars Lander. This landing system weighs less than the airbags used for the twin rovers or the skycrane used by the Mars Science Laboratory.

Slideshow: 25 amazing photos of Mars (Provided by Microsoft GES)

Crushed garnet is a very effective abrasive, so people use it for sandpaper, grinding lenses for glasses and sandblasting.

 For NASA, crushed garnet is appealing because it can mimic the range of particle size found on Mars, where sand and gravel are mixed together, without producing a lot of dust.

One of the key challenges InSight engineers have to deal with is that they can't be sure precisely what angle the surface will be where the lander initially touches down.

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And unlike the Curiosity rover ruling the Martian surface now, InSight can't move to find a spot it likes better.

That means that with their replica lander and crushed garnet planet, the engineers are practicing with tilts up to 15 degrees to make sure the lander can still successfully put each of its three science tools down on the surface of Mars.

Mars InSight is scheduled to launch as soon as May 5.

Russia Will Beat NASA to Mars and Find Water on the Moon, Says Putin .
The Russian president has announced an ambitious plan to probe the red planet and look for water on the Moon, paving the way for future deep space missions.Vladimir Putin revealed his country’s space plans during a documentary about the president which was widely shared on social media.

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