After a trip to Mars for half a year, the NASA probe will have its famous "six and a half minutes of & # 39; terror" where you want to deploy a parachute and thrusters of the descent to avoid combat. If everything goes according to plan, will decline only 2.24 meters per second and will rest on the cushion feet on the red planet to study its interior. The landing is scheduled for Monday.
Another possibility does not come at the head of & # 39; Tom Hoffman, project manager. "The team is working hard for several years and is ready for this moment. Finally we do our preparation in & # 39; action", Is brief.
The door & # 39; entrance to the probe will be a rectangle & # 39; 10 x 24 kilometers. Objective, compared with 479 million kilometers sharing required, is for scientists, the metaphor of football, "As we aim than 130,000 kilometers". During the first 25 seconds & # 39; approach, Insight will discard the shield of its heat and minutes before the next Martian desert will use its radar to detect the speed and the distance to the art.
Despite the optimism, there are uncertainties and are based: only 40 percent of the missions sent by various space agencies to trouble Mars. For this reason, it will be important to include accuracy, but also aerodynamic features, such as drag the vessel will experience, and atmospheric variables, such as wind speed and atmospheric density.
Although, due to the characteristics of & # 39; Insight, the American space agency has a big point in favor: you & # 39; choose easy surface qualified as "the greatest park on Mars", the plains & # 39; Elysium Planitia. Also, the vessel, the full load of fuel weighs more than 360 kg and worth around $ 1 billion, drawn up by engineers to land in & # 39; malt powder if necessary. "Once arriving, the Earth team will start the process to select the best places to place scientific instruments", The specialist described.
The mission will seek to study first the interior red planet b & # 39; two key instruments. The sismografu, who will monitor and analyze the soil vibrations caused by earthquakes and meteorite impacts. And probe & # 39; thermal flux to penetrate 15 times more land than in any other previous hardware, to determine b & # 39; precisely the amount of & # 39; heat escapes from its interior.
For NASA will be to measure the speed control "Vital signs" a & # 39; Mars through the wrist (seismology) and temperature (heat flow). "The engineers will take the time to decide the next steps. And once the instruments are in place, Insight will spend the next year Martian (26 months of World) to monitor those signals, "said Hoffman.
In addition, special cameras will produce color images & # 39; high quality and, if that was not enough, two spacecraft named Mars Cube One, were flying after Insight and try to transmit data and opens a new way & # 39; Communication with Earth.
Why investigate the interior of & # 39; Mars? Ten years ago various reports set to be one of the scientific priorities, and although in the years & # 39; after several missions have been proposed, none has been successful with & # 39; success. That is why the international expectation for Monday: except the vital participation of French and German space agencies that have provided the main instruments, the United Kingdom, Austria, Belgium, Canada, the -Italja, Spain, Switzerland and Poland also collaborated.
Is that by studying the deep interior & # 39; Mars can learn how other rocky planets have been developed, such as the Earth and the moon. In short, is a close relative, created by the same primordial elements, more than 4,500 million years ago.
What we learn from that cold world and rock dessert can & # 39; explain our own existence. And, above all, will be decisive to fulfill one of the great dreams on the march of conquest in history & # 39; space: to send in the coming years human explorer to the Martian surface.