The last son seven-minute terror, on the surface is familiar but still intense.
In every mission of Mars, there are things that engineers call ler seven-minute terror Mars.
This is how long a spacecraft takes from the moment it enters the Martian atmosphere at about 12,000 miles per hour from the moment it touches the Red Planet.
And for these seven minutes, there is nothing to expect and hope for people to do on Earth.
NASA's most recent mission to Mars was for engineers and others in Redford-based Aerojet Rocketdyne, the makers of rocket engines, and it came shortly before Monday afternoon for seven minutes.
Ki My heart was just hitting,, said 45-year-old Matt Dawson, chief engineer for the InSight project at Aerojet Rocketdyne.
Earlier, about 100 of Dawson's colleagues had entered the room with excitement, their eyes riveted on two large screens carrying a live video check in the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.[Related: ‘Flawless’: NASA craft lands on Mars after perilous journey]
Six months ago, the spacecraft, the size of a golf cart, was launched into space from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Now, after traveling about 300 million miles, the ship was making its final approach.
As Dawson and his colleagues watched, the ship dived into the weak atmosphere of Mars and launched a combination of maneuvers – the separation of the heat shield, the placement of a special parachute, and carefully timed pulses from rocket engines – the interplanetary speed to the speed of a runner in the world.
The atmosphere in the room was tense. Although Aerojet Rocketdyne had many of these kinds of descents, the company was involved in seven successful US missions to Mars – starting from the Viking mission in 1975 – this last stage is also so challenging.
”In seven minutes, there are 15 things that have to be in order and without failure, # said 53-year-old Rob Dooley, the production engineer of the project. . . And our landing engines are the latest ones. “
And perhaps the most important. Various Aerojet Rocketdyne engines, at every stage of the InSight mission – from take-off to descent – found the way to & Redmond from Mars,, the company's general manager for Redmond operations, Ken Young. However, its purpose is the landing engines that determine whether the multi-year mission, which is to measure and mapping underground Mars, has reached the Red Planet under working conditions.
As the spacecraft falls about 1 kilometer above the surface of Mars, the 800-pound land should be separated from its external aerodynamic shell and fired 12 engines. In the next few seconds, these motors move the descent into a positioning position and slow down the descent so that the final effect can be absorbed by the three spring legs.
These maneuvers cannot be controlled in real time from around the world. Mars is so far away that the radio signals from the Earth will take eight minutes to reach the spacecraft – a huge delay for such a delicate operation. Instead, all maneuvers are pre-programmed in flight controls.
And sometimes, these programs do not work. On Monday, most people in the auditorium were aware that the European Space Agency's Schiaparelli Mars ship fell on October 19, 2016, probably three minutes after being hit by the atmosphere in March 2010.
People like Dawson and Dooley can only watch and wait. Ey It's a little annoying, boz Dooley admitted.
Indeed, when the technician in Mission Control began to explain the final steps of the landing process, the mood inside the room was taut.
At about 11: 53, the terrain hit the 1 kilometer mark. When the surface radar was locked to the surface, it was separated from the landing shell and fired 12 engines.
Tı These are our engines, ır Dooley shouted.
Seconds later, the Mission Control began the countdown to the altitude of a rapid fire in rhythm.
”Six hundred yards.“
”Three hundred yards.“
The figures started faster. The room went quiet.
"50 meters. Constant speed. "
Metre Seventeen meters. I'm waiting for the location. "
Then şey nothing. PA went quiet. The room was very quiet so engineers could hear the breath. Seconds are marked by painful slowness.
Finally, 15 seconds later, the Mission Inspection technician approved “Touchdown. Son The room received applause and applause.
Later, after most of the Aerojet Rocketdyne employees returned to work, Dooley and Dawson stood behind the room and told this edition of the seven-minute terror.
Both men were laughing at their own irritability. But both were relieved, but they knew the relief was only temporary: Aerojet Rocketdyne is in another mission of NASA's Mars 2020 Rover.
As Dooley said, burada We will be here again in two years, we do it again. D
In the coming months, InSight will start working on the Martian underground and will begin to help scientists understand how the planet is formed, helping them understand the lessons that can help shed light on the origins of the Earth. Marshes – will listen and gather data that will be gathered together in a map of the interior of the red planet.
InSight landed at Elysium Planitia, near the equator in the northern hemisphere. The missionaries resembled a car park or “Kansas-free corn M.
The primary task on the surface will last for about two years. He will try to answer various questions: How often will the floor be shaken by marches? How big is the molten core in Mars? How thick is the shell? How much heat is flowing from the degradation of radioactive elements in the core of the planet?
InSight carries two main instruments: a dome-shaped package with seismometers and a temperature probe for hollowing down about 16 feet. NASA spent $ 814 million in InSight. In addition, France and Germany invested $ 180 million to build these main vehicles.
Seismometers designed to measure surface movements less than the width of a hydrogen atom will essentially produce sonograms of inner parts of the planet. In particular, scientists are considering recording at least 10 to 12 marshmalls for two years.
InSight's descent was not NASA's only success. The agency used the mission to test new technology.
Two identical spacecraft known as Mars Cube One or MarCO short started with InSight in May. MarCO A and B then left the InSight cruise line and have been behind since.
Hundreds of miniature satellites, known as CubeSats, sprang up into orbit around the Earth in recent years, but these Cubic were sent for the first time on an interplanetary journey.
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The New York Times contributed to this report.