After traveling for six months and millions of kilometers, NASA's Mars InSight is a few days away from the final destination.
A one-meter-long 358-kilogram spacecraft will land on the Red Planet on Monday for 3 hours. MEAT. You can be sure that there are nail biting experiences for hundreds of people working on the mission.
It is easy to imagine the discomfort the engineers will face during a six and a half minute landing on the surface of Mars: only 40 percent of all missions to Red Planet have been successful.
C We all have butterflies when we think of the spacecraft's landing, ından said Professor Catherine Johnson, of the University of British Columbia, a co-investigator of the international team to measure the seismic activity in Mars using InSight.
InSight's chief engineer, Rob Manning, should explain what goes right:
But success rate is evolving. Launched in 2004, NASA's twin rovers, Spirit and Opportunity has long left the days of March 90 or the left behind them longer than their original duties. The spirit lasted 11 years. After months of dust storms the opportunity is quiet, but not technically dead.
Then there is the Margin starting in 2011. It's still strong.
The landing site is really boring and really safe & # 39;
When it reached Mars, InSight was not a direct journey because it would travel almost 500 million kilometers. In a protective sheath, the fine Mars atmosphere will enter at about 19,800 km / h. The parachute and the fire will set the thrusters down, and hopefully – will slowly touch their legs.
The spacecraft will be only 550 kilometers from the curiosity in the Elysium Planitia region near the planet's equator.
As the spacecraft has recently descended safely, this particular position is a little challenging: at a higher height, that is, the spacecraft cannot use the slow atmosphere of Mars to slow down.
Then why did you pick this place?
”Mostly because it's really, really boring and really safe,. Johnson said.
A flat, slippery area is the most suitable for this geological mission where instruments can be easily located. If there was a rocky place, the seismometer and drill, also known as the Mole, could not do their job.
InSight is the first geological mission of the Red Planet. It will measure seismic activity or Mars earthquakes and negligible magnetic field of the planet by using the changing instruments for more than two years. It will also take the interior temperature of Mars.
I For those who actually study the interior of the planets, this is a very important task, Johnson Johnson said. Said. "We wanted to go to Mars for a few years, so it's really exciting to be there almost."
The mission's objectives will help scientists understand Mars and planetary formations, and this will pave the way for knowing what might come to the fore for human missions.
Orbiter can listen
During the landing, Insight will send signals to the Mars Discovery Planet orbiting NASA (MRO) and transmit data when the Earth is in the position to receive the signals.
There are also the possibility that the two CubeSats, the small breadbox-boy orbits, will listen to the first of its kind to make an interplanetary journey. The Mars Cube One – in fact two satellites – can be in the position to receive a signal and relay. to earth immediately.
When we go back to the world, the two radio telescopes will listen to the operators that the InSight will reach the surface safely.
Johnson will be very happy when we say "Yes, we're here", otherwise the little boring little beep.
Watch NASA's landing at CBC News from 2:00 onwards. MEAT. Monday.