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TechnologyNew Mars lander safely touches down. What happens now?

22:40  26 november  2018
22:40  26 november  2018 Source:   nationalgeographic.com

NASA is playing a ‘claw game’ on Mars, and it’s even more complex than your local arcade

NASA is playing a ‘claw game’ on Mars, and it’s even more complex than your local arcade Scoring a stuffed animal or small trinket from a classic claw game at your local arcade can leave you feeling frustrated and full of rage, so imagine the tension that comes with operating a similar mechanism from millions and millions of miles away.

To reach its reserved spot on Mars , NASA’s InSight lander on Monday must hit a precise spot in the Red Planet’s upper atmosphere, survive a searing plunge to the surface involving a supersonic parachute and touch down softly on a tripod of legs.

NASA’s Phoenix lander has survived its harrowing descent to Mars and apparently stands poised to conduct what scientists hope will be a revealing The initial data from Phoenix bodes very well for the mission, as the lander appears to lie just 0.25° from the horizontal. That suggests it did not land on

After a 205-day journey through space, NASA’s InSight lander is safely on the surface of Mars. Tasked with peering beneath the Martian surface and mapping the planet’s underworld, InSight touched down just before 3 p.m. ET in a sunny patch of boring landscape inside the equatorial plains of Elysium Planitia.

Anxious teams of scientists and engineers, clustered together at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, knew the spacecraft had survived its wild and tricky descent to the red planet’s surface after receiving a single tone from the lander.

NASA likens Mars InSight lander parking spot to kale salad

NASA likens Mars InSight lander parking spot to kale salad Don't judge a Mars mission by its landscape.

If the spacecraft manages to safely touch down on the planet’s surface, it will be the first time ever that an The whole ordeal will take just under six minutes, and the lander is predicted to touch down at 10:48 It will also take measurements of the Red Planet’s magnetic fields, which should provide new

This feature is not available right now . Please try again later. Published on Oct 20, 2016. The European Space Agency confirmed that they have lost contact with the Shiaparelli Mars lander on Wednesday and do know the fate of the spacecraft. Only 50 seconds before it was supposed to touch down , the

The spacecraft’s home team isn’t fully celebrating just yet: For its mission to succeed, InSight must also deploy its solar panels, and that confirmation signal won’t arrive for a few more hours. But assuming it does, the spacecraft will officially be the newest member in an elite fleet of interplanetary robots currently exploring the red planet—including NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which monitored InSight’s descent.

New Mars lander safely touches down. What happens now?© Art by Jason Treat, NGM STAFF, TOMÁŠ MÜLLER. Source: Bruce Banerdt, NASA NASA's InSight Mars lander drills into the red planet in an illustration. First contact

InSight’s journey of more than 300 million miles began on May 5 with a foggy, early morning launch from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base. Tucked inside its shell, the spacecraft rocketed through the solar system, navigating by starlight as an onboard star tracker helped it stay on course.

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The InSight lander will study the interior of Mars and listen for Marsquakes. On Nov. 26, engineers will look for a combination of signals to determine whether the next spacecraft to Mars lands safely .

The space agency confirmed the landing just before 8 p.m. EDT Sunday.

On November 25—and then once more, a few hours before touchdown—the spacecraft’s entry, descent, and landing team nudged it onto a trajectory that would allow it to bulls-eye in Elysium Planitia. This flat, unremarkable plain was chosen specifically because of the relatively abundant sunlight at the equator and its geologic boringness at the surface, which offers the best chance of finding ideal places to set down its instruments.

New Mars lander safely touches down. What happens now?© Art by MATTHEW W. CHWASTYK, NGM STAFF. SOURCE: BRUCE BANERDT, NASA. InSight has touched down at Elysium Planitia, near the Martian equator. Once its plunge through the atmosphere was set, the team could only sit back and watch: Without guided entry, InSight had to fly itself to the Martian surface, meaning that a safe landing relied upon correct, preprogrammed commands and on all the necessary onboard instruments functioning properly.

“There are certainly points that will make me smile if they go well,” Julie Wertz-Chen, an entry, descent, and landing team member, said the week before.

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.

It should touch down on the red planet’s surface six minutes later, at 2:48 pm GMT, according to the And also to put Trace Gas Orbiter into orbit safely around Mars because that’s a very important part Although, the Schiaparelli lander has limited research capabilities, it will be reaching the red planet

The Phoenix has landed. After a nine-month, 422-million-mile voyage, followed by a delicate series of manuevers that slowed the Phoenix Mars Lander from about 13,000 mph to just 5 mph at touchdown seven minutes later, NASA tonight has placed a spacecraft on the Martian surface.

As InSight made contact with the planet’s thin air, a heat shield protected it from burning up while it whizzed along at 12,300 miles an hour. About a minute later, the spacecraft deployed a parachute that put on a hefty brake and eventually slowed it to 134 miles an hour.

Its heat shield then popped off, and an on-board radar began to search for and ultimately lock onto the ground. At 3,280 feet up, InSight ditched its parachute, performed a short free fall, and then fired a dozen descent engines to eventually slow it to a mere five miles an hour.

From atmospheric contact to setting robot legs on the ground, the process took just 6 minutes and 45 seconds. Now, InSight is literally waiting for the dust to settle so it can start unfurling its solar panels.

InSight wasn’t the only robot entering Martian airspace for the first time today. Two mini-spacecraft, each about the size of a briefcase, were tagging along as part of the first mission to send tiny spacecraft known as CubeSats into interplanetary space.

Collectively known as Mars Cube One, but separately referred to as MaCO1 and MarCO2, their mission was to collect information from InSight as it descended to the surface, and then relay that information to mission control at JPL.

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The European Space Agency announced their latest Mars lander has touched down on the Red Planet. It is the ESA's first attempt at a martian landing since

A European space lander reached Mars on October 19, 2016 in what scientists hope will mark a major milestone in exploration of the Red Planet, but whether it touched down on the surface in “We need to understand what happened in the last few seconds before the planned landing,” said David Parker

Martian heartbeat

Now, it’s time for InSight to get to work. Over the course of one Martian year (or at least two Earth years), it will do something a bit different from most other Mars missions, which have focused on the planet’s flashy rift valleys, mammoth volcanoes, or signs of ancient running water on the surface.

New lander will add to humans' long fascination with Mars

New lander will add to humans' long fascination with Mars Mars is Earth's next-of-kin that has captivated humans for millennia. The attraction is sure to grow on Monday, Nov. 26 with the arrival of a NASA lander named InSight. (NASA via AP, File) CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — In our solar system family, Mars is Earth's next-of-kin, the next-door relative that has ca The attraction is sure to grow with Monday's arrival of a NASA lander named InSight. InSight should provide our best look yet at Mars' deep interior. The probe is equipped with a mechanical mole to tunnel underground to measure internal heat.

19, the Schiaparelli lander entered the Martian atmosphere, scheduled for a safe touch down . Now , they think the spacecraft is in pieces because it landed too hard and fast, exploding on impact. NASA released two images showing where the spacecraft likely landed, which show a new black spot on the

But clear your calendar, because NASA will broadcast its InSight Mars Lander touching down on the Red Planet on Monday, Nov. The landing is expected to happen around noon PT InSight launched May 5, and if it's successful, it will be NASA's first spacecraft to land on Mars since Curiosity in 2012.

Instead, this mission aims to get at the heart of Mars, to measure the size of the planet’s core and other interior layers. To do this, it will rely on marsquakes—or tremors that are often produced by the same tectonic activity that crafts those beautiful mountains and valleys.

One of InSight’s primary goals is to figure out how seismically active Mars is, says Renee Weber of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center.

“That is something that we don’t actually know,” she says. “That’s basically how many quakes there are, how often they occur, where do they occur, how big they are.”

Weber suspects that Mars will lie somewhere between Earth and moon in terms of tectonic activity (yes, the moon has moonquakes, which Apollo astronauts measured when they visited in the 1970s).

Parked on the surface, InSight is just waiting to snare those signals. Over the next three months, it will deploy its instruments, including an exquisitely sensitive seismometer that should detect a variety of marsquakes, both those produced by the planet’s own spasms and those resulting from meteor impacts.

After the spacecraft determines the location of a marsquake, it will read the incoming seismic waves and use the information they carry to figure out what types of rock they moved through. As marsquakes rock the planet’s innards, they send seismic waves bouncing through the interior, signals that travel just a tiny bit differently depending on what kind of material they’re moving through.

With enough data from enough different directions, scientists should be able to put together a picture of the planet’s alien heart. A second instrument will be deployed to take the planet’s temperature, drilling deep into Mars to find out how much heat is still escaping from its core.

All together, InSight’s readings will help scientists figure out how planets are put together and how they evolve, says Suzanne Smrekar, the mission’s deputy principal investigator. That’s important not only for better understanding our own solar system, but also for deciphering clues about much more distant planets circling other stars.

“Really understanding the whole enchilada, not just the surface,” Smrekar says, “is essential to really being able to make a reasonable prediction about what’s going on in these distant worlds.”

Mars Lander InSight sends the first of many selfies after a successful touchdown.
Last night's 10 minutes of terror as the InSight Mars Lander descended to the Martian surface at 12,300 MPH were a nail-biter for sure, but now the robotic science platform is safe and sound — and has sent pics back to prove it. The first thing it sent was a couple pictures of its surroundings: Elysium Planitia, a rather boring-looking, featureless plane that is nevertheless perfect for InSight's drilling and seismic activity work.

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