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TechnologyNASA's first Mars landing in 6 years will depend on 6 crucial minutes this afternoon

15:16  26 november  2018
15:16  26 november  2018 Source:   fortune.com

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NASA ' s First Mars Landing in 6 Years Will Depend on 6 Crucial Minutes This Afternoon .

The first NASA spacecraft in six years to visit Mars has completed the difficult and nerve-wracking initial NASA ' s 1 st Mars Landing in 6 Years Depends on 6 Crucial Minutes . The NASA Mars lander, InSight, succeeded in landing on the surface of the Red Planet this afternoon , surviving an

Earth’s latest mission to Mars is reaching its conclusion Monday, and it’s got NASA experts and the interested public holding their collective breath.

NASA’s InSight spacecraft is due to land on the red planet after traveling there over the last six months.

But while the journey has been long, the riskiest moment is still ahead. InSight’s actual landing on Mars is difficult, and it’s critical that it is completed perfectly. The spacecraft must decelerate from 12,300 mph to zero in six minutes, deploy a parachute, fire its 12 descent engines, and then land—all of which is made especially hard by Mars’ strong gravitational pull and wispy atmosphere.

NASA set to broadcast its first Mars landing in six years

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NASA ' s InSight spacecraft is due to complete its six month journey to Mars today. Here's everything you should know. Offers may be subject to change without notice. Quotes delayed at least 15 minutes .

NASA ' s first Mars landing in 6 years will depend on 6 crucial minutes this NASA ' s InSight spacecraft will enter the Martian atmosphere at The communication lag between Mars and Earth is eight minutes . "By the time we hear anything, the whole thing is already done," said project manager.

NASA's first Mars landing in 6 years will depend on 6 crucial minutes this afternoon© David McNew Getty Images The Atlas 5 rocket carrying the Mars InSight probe launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in May.

What’s more, Monday afternoon will be the first time NASA has attempted to land on Mars in six years, so the stakes are higher. Compared to other countries, the U.S. has an impressive record of successfully landing on Mars seven times in 40 years and failing just once. Overall, Earth’s success rate is just 40%.

NASA's first Mars landing in 6 years will depend on 6 crucial minutes this afternoon© Provided by TIME Inc. The United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas-V rocket carried NASA's InSight spacecraft, bound for Mars, when it launched in May. (Photo Bill Ingalls/NASA via Getty Images)

The odds are in NASA’s favor, but it will be some time until the world finds out whether the landing is successful. With a several minute communication delay between the lander and Earth, neither mission control nor public observers will know what’s happening real time. That means that NASA won’t know whether or not InSight has successfully landed on Mars’ surface until after the attempted landing takes place.

Should the mission be successful, InSight’s objective is to study the interior of Mars and gather information about its “vital signs, its pulse, and temperature,” according to NASA. The lander will remain in place while a robotic arm sets a mechanical mole and a seismometer on the ground.

The landing is due to take place at noon Pacific time and will be viewable on NASA’s 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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