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TechnologyNASA likens Mars InSight lander parking spot to kale salad

07:05  06 november  2018
07:05  06 november  2018 Source:   cnet.com

NASA set to broadcast its first Mars landing in six years

NASA set to broadcast its first Mars landing in six years It's been a while since we've sat down in front of the TV to watch a good ol' Mars landing.

NASA 's Mars rovers have sent back haunting images of rugged hills and ridges and rock-strewn fields. The space agency's next Mars visitor will have a lot less to look at it. While NASA equates the landing spot to a stadium parking lot, the humdrum landscape is really the perfect place for InSight .

NASA 's Mars InSight Lander is set to blast off on May 5, 2018. NASA 's InSight lander opens a window into the "inner space " of Mars . While NASA likens the arrival spot to a stadium parking area, the uninteresting scene is extremely the ideal place for InSight . In contrast to NASA ’s well

NASA likens Mars InSight lander parking spot to kale salad© CNET This illustration shows what InSight's landing on Mars might look like.

NASA's Mars rovers have sent back haunting images of rugged hills and ridges and rock-strewn fields. The space agency's next Mars visitor will have a lot less to look at it.

The InSight mission is scheduled to touch down on the red planet Nov. 26 and NASA is aiming for an intentionally dull-looking landing spot. Elysium Planitia is a lava plain located near the equator. It's relatively smooth and free of rocks that could upset the three-legged lander.

Mars getting 1st US visitor in years, a 3-legged geologist

Mars getting 1st US visitor in years, a 3-legged geologist Mars is about to get its first U.S. visitor in years. NASA's three-legged, one-armed geologist known as InSight makes its grand entrance through the rose-tinted Martian skies on Monday. It will be the first American spacecraft to land since the Curiosity rover six years ago and the first dedicated to exploring underground. NASA is going with a tried-and-true method to get this mechanical miner to the surface of the red planet. Engine firings will slow its final descent and the spacecraft will plop down on its rigid legs, mimicking the landings of earlier successful missions.

NASA ’s Mars rovers have sent back haunting images of rugged hills and ridges and rock-strewn fields. The space agency’s next Mars visitor will have a lot less to look at it. While NASA equates the landing spot to a stadium parking lot, the humdrum landscape is really the perfect place for InSight .

The InSight lander will study the interior of Mars and listen for Marsquakes. NASA ’s nine-episode series ‘On a Mission’ follows the InSight spacecraft on its journey to Mars , and details the challenges of landing and operating on the Red Planet.

"If Elysium Planitia were a salad, it would consist of romaine lettuce and kale -- no dressing," InSight principal investigator Bruce Banerdt said in a news release Monday. "If it were an ice cream, it would be vanilla."

While NASA equates the landing spot to a stadium parking lot, the humdrum landscape is really the perfect place for InSight.

Unlike NASA's famous Opportunity and Curiosity missions, InSight isn't a rover capable of rolling around. It'll stay in one spot to investigate the interior of Mars, take its temperature and study potential "Marsquakes."

Elysium Planitia will provide plenty of sun for the lander's solar panels. It's also expected to be a good place for InSight's burrowing probe, which will need to dig down to 16 feet (5 meters) below the surface to measure the heat coming from Mars' interior.

Mars landing comes down to final 6 minutes of 6-month trip

Mars landing comes down to final 6 minutes of 6-month trip Flight controllers will be powerless over what happens at the end of the road Monday.

NASA ' s InSight lander hit Mars on Monday at 2:54 p.m. ET. © NASA The first image the lander sent back right after it made its successful landing was obstructed and difficult to make out because the lens cap was still on the camera but with the cap off the photos are far more clear now.

NASA 's latest Mars probe, InSight , will culminate a seven-month journey through space on Monday as it lands on the surface of the red planet. If successful, the probe will be the first NASA craft to land on Mars since the Curiosity rover touched down in 2012.

InSight will be able to send back images of its surroundings, but the real science will take place out of sight. "The beauty of this mission is happening below the surface," says Banerdt.

Insight launched in early May and will be the latest mark of NASA's presence on the planet. The Curiosity rover is the only machine that's still functioning on the surface as the space agency continues to reach out to its silent Opportunity rover.

NASA likens Mars InSight lander parking spot to kale salad© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. insightlander

The Mars InSight robot just placed its first instrument on Mars’ surface.
NASA's Mars InSight mission is moving along at a rapid pace. After landing on the planet just a few weeks ago, InSight has spent its days observing its new living space and sending back photos of the ground surrounding it. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); NASA’s InSight team has been practicing the tricky task of placing the robot’s sensitive instruments on the surface.

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