Friday , May 7 2021

NASA prepares to land a probe capable of studying the earthquake at Mars International news

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NASA is scheduled to land Mars InSight on Mars next Monday, $ 993 million, and the first capable of listening to earthquakes and studying the internal functioning of a rocky planet.

A ruthless spacecraft was launched nearly seven months ago and traveled about 482 million kilometers.

Part of his mission is to report on efforts to send human researchers on a red planet one day, something NASA hopes to achieve in the 2030s.

The launch of the probe on Mars will be the first since 2012, when NASA's Curiosity explorer landed on the surface and analyzed stones for signs of life on the planet next to the Earth, now frozen and dry.

InSight must have survived a difficult entry into the atmosphere of a red planet, traveling at a speed of 19,800 kilometers per hour and quickly reducing the speed to just 8 kilometers per hour.

The entry, descent and landing phase will begin on Monday at 19:47 in the morning. Half joke, in NASA, allusion to that phase as "six and a half minutes of terror."

Out of 43 missions on Mars, only 18 have reached the red planet, a success rate of about 40%, and all came from the United States.

"Going to Mars is very, very difficult," said Thomas Zurbuchen, Assistant Administrator of NASA's Directorate for Scientific Mission.

"It's exciting to build on the success of the best team that ever landed on this planet, which NASA team with its contractors and their associates."

French seismometer

The name InSight originates from "Internal research using seismic research, geodesy and heat transfer".

The spacecraft stops at about the height of the waist, one meter, and when the solar panels spread, I will expand almost 6 meters.

With full fuel load, InSight weighs over 360 kg, almost the same as the Harlei Davidson motorcycle.

Its central instrument is a seismometer for earthquake detection by the French Space Agency (CNES).

"This is the only NASA mission imagined around an instrument from abroad," AFP quoted Jean-Ives Le Gall, president of CNES.

For this reason, he added, "this is a basic mission for the United States, France" and the improvement of understanding of Mars.

Six earthquake sensors on board are so sensitive that they should discover the smallest shake on Mars, such as the low attractiveness of their Phobos Month, the impact of the meteor, and possibly the evidence of volcanic activity.

Seismology has taught humanity much about the formation of the Earth about 4.5 billion years ago, but most of Earth-based evidence has been lost by recycling the stump, driven by the plate's tectonics. This process does not exist on Mars.

The ship also has a self-leveling probe that can dig up to a depth of between 3 and 5 meters, to ensure first accurate measurement of underground temperatures on Mars and the amount of heat flowing from the interior.

The InSight landing will be relieved by the parachute. Its heat shield will help slow down the ship and protect it from the friction of entering the atmosphere of Mars.

The landing site is a flat area called Elisium Planitia, which NASA called "the biggest parking lot on Mars."

NASA will know in a matter of minutes whether the landing was successful or not, but will have to wait more than five hours to confirm the deployment of the equipment. It would be on Monday at 20:04 GMT. (I)

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