TechnologyNASA's InSight Scheduled To Land On Mars Monday

07:55  26 november  2018
07:55  26 november  2018 Source:   newsweek.com

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NASA's InSight Scheduled To Land On Mars Monday© NASA/JPL-Caltech An artist illustration of the InSight lander on Mars.

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. However, InSight isn't a rover. The craft will remain stationary while on Mars, conducting a mission that will last about two years on Earth.

InSight – also known as Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport - has been sent to gauge how the planet formed, with the craft containing equipment to test Mars' internal temperature and seismology. NASA will use that information to study not only how Mars came to be, but other planets in the solar system, including Earth.

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InSight's landing will be the most treacherous part of the trip, with NASA's mission control unaware of what is happening to the lander as it enters Mars' atmosphere.

It will take six minutes for the craft's status reports to transmit back to NASA, leaving engineers, scientists and others who worked on the mission biting their nails, LiveScience reports.

According to a video released by NASA, during those six minutes, InSight will proceed through three sections of its landing operation. First, the portion of the craft's capsule known as the "cruise stage" will separate and reposition so that the heat shield protecting the lander will face Mars' atmosphere.

The "cruise stage" is part of the craft only needed for flight through space.

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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.

Once the lander reaches 10 miles above the surface of Mars, a parachute will deploy to slow InSight down. The craft's three legs will extend to cushion the impact of touching ground.

The final stage will see the back shell – the portion containing the parachute – remove itself about a mile from the surface. Engines will then engage to further slow InSight's fall.

As if that wasn't enough, those engines will have to power off the moment InSight lands in order to prevent the craft from tipping over.

If successful, this will be the eighth landing of spacecraft on Mars by NASA with many more to come, NASA Deputy Associate Administrator for Exploration Steve Clarke said on CBS' "Face The Nation."

NASA, Clarke said, hopes to send humans to Mars sometime in the 2030s with the space agency planning to send people to the moon in order to practice for the much longer trip to the red planet.

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.

With NASA not expecting to send humans back to the moon until the late 2020s, those interested in space exploration will have to settle for live streams of Insight's Mars touchdown.

NASA will broadcast via the agency's website and Twitter page. Those looking to watch the landing without commentary, the media tab on the NASA TV channel will offer a feed of mission control. All live streams will begin at 2 p.m. EST.

Touchdown is expected to happen around 3 p.m. A post-landing news conference will be held at 5 p.m. that will also air on NASA TV.

In addition to the live stream, viewing parties will be held across the United States to celebrate the InSight landing. A full list of parties can be seen by visiting the NASA website.

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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