spacecraft cost almost a billion dollars is on the way to make a dangerous landing Monday in & # 39; Mars, if you & # 39; & # 39 saving approach; speed and scorching heat to enter the atmosphere of the Red Planet, NASA accepted process "six and a half minutes & # 39; terror."
"There is little room for things to go wrong," said Rob Grover, head of entry, descent and landing team at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of NASA in & # 39; Panadena, California.
If successful, the entry, descent and landing of the Mars Insight – designed to be the first mission to listen & # 39; the interior of & # 39; another planet and show how the planets were formed rock – will add another success for NASA record when it comes to sending spacecraft to Mars.
S & # 39; now the United States is the only nation that made it there, and the robotic Curiosity Rover NASA crew still free tool around the face.
But if it fails, it certainly will not be the first.
43 other international attempt to send orbitaturi, probes, area or rovers to Mars, 25 did not. Or they crashed into the surface, lost their planned orbit, or disappeared after the launch.
Countdown to Mars
There will be live video streaming & # 39; approach & # 39; Insight Mars on Monday, and signals are transmitted back to the Earth delays & # 39; eight minutes.
Neither mission managers may intervene if something goes wrong. All sequence & # 39; landing is all pre-programmed into the computer on board the flight.
X Here & # 39; you can expect:
– At 11: 40 am Pacific time (0640 AEDT am Tue), the spacecraft separated from the cruise stage that led to Mars. A minute later, the spacecraft make a turn to orient itself to atmospheric entry.
– speed & # 39; 12,300 miles per hour (19,800 kilometers per hour) as soon as you start entering in & # 39; atmosphere & # 39 At 1947 GMT the spacecraft passing space with & # 39;; Mars.
– Two minutes later, the friction with the atmosphere raise the temperature of the heat shield to its top & # 39; 2,700 Fahrenheit (1,500 Celsius). This intense heat can & # 39; lead to temporary falls in & # 39; radio signals.
– At 1951 GMT, the parachutes deploy. Fifteen seconds later, the heat shield separates from the spacecraft. Ten seconds, three landing legs land release to prepare for landing.
– At 1952 GMT, activate radar sensing distance to the ground.
– At 1953 GMT, the first radar signal is expected, followed 20 seconds after the separation of space from the back shell and parachute. Then, the machine & # 39; descent, known as retrorockets, starting a fire. The speed & # 39; Insight drop drastically, from 17 mph to five constant mph (8 kph to 27 kph) to its soft landing.
– The landing is expected at 1954 GMT.
– The first "sound" of the radio band X spacecraft – indicating whether Insight longer alive landing – is scheduled for 2001 GMT.
– The first image from the surface & # 39; Mars is expected at 2004 GMT. However, it is possible that this image can & # 39; is not received before Tuesday.
– The orbital model of the Mars Odyssey spacecraft, flying overhead, means that NASA will not know until 0135 GMT on Tuesday if the solar arrays & # 39; Insight deployed or not. This step is crucial because the brokerage Quake is operated by Sun for its mission & # 39; year.