NASA hopes to get its first spacecraft in & # 39; Mars since six years Curiosity ago on Monday afternoon, and Alabama scientist on the mission team will retains its breath along with Atari 39, people around the world until the Insight goes by Lander & # 39; safe way.
"We'll soon know if relatively survived and is doing OK," Dr. Renee Weber said this month its office & # 39; Huntsville. "That's when you'll see everyone and hugging a blur".
Mars Insight – the name indicates Home Exploration & # 39; Mars using the & # 39; Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport – will touch around 2 p.m. CST. Will send a "ping" it says it is alive and ready to start two years & # 39; scientific study.
Landing on Mars is not easy. Only about 4 in 10 of the missions sent to the planet successful, and America is the only nation which has a remaining & # 39; landing live. What makes it so hard? Starting with & # 39; thin atmosphere – 1 percent & # 39; the Earth's atmosphere – and that means almost no friction to slow a spacecraft.
NASA will cover the landing live on its website, social media platforms and NASA TV. The events of the live displays are scheduled across the country including the Space Center and the US Rocket f & # 39; Huntsville.
The target & # 39; landing is the Elysium Planitia, Which Weber said is the closest thing to Mars has a "parking lot – very flat and safe space without rocks and slopes without". What should he light of the abundant sunshine to manufactures solar panels & # 39; Insight.
Using & # 39; sismometru and probe heat flow, Insight will be the first spacecraft to probe below the Martian surface. The probe is designed "to measure the flow of heat emanating from the planet", said Weber. "This tells us about the deeper structure where the planet is in its evolutionary cycle."
Scientists know that Mars is further along in & # 39; that cycle than in the World. "The planets start as hot balls, active, probably dissolved the rock, as they evolve, and lose heat their contract, become less active," said Weber.
Scientists believe that Mars and Earth were formed from the same "primordial stuff" more basic than 4.5 billion years ago. But it evolved b & # 39; a different way, and the question is why.
"The understanding of the internal structure of & # 39; (Mars) helps us by name & # 39; extension as all the terrestrial planets are formed and evolved," said Weber. "Give some context for observations that have Earth."
Scientists know from photos that Mars has geological faults. Does not have moving plates underneath the surface like Earth, but Weber said, "We have seen rockfall and landslides from the hill sides that & # 39; are likely caused by some sort of & # 39; stir."
"Being able to & # 39; shows that those mistakes are still shaking today is a really big deal," said Weber.
Insight will also observe the meteorite impacts. If seismometers can & # 39; record impact, such data can & # 39; used to finance models to find other events on the planet.
One of the fastest features of the mission is that the data data & # 39; Insight will be accessible to the public after a period when only the science team can & # 39; watched.
"The seismic data actually be incorporated into the same tool & # 39; software terrestrial seismologists use to look at the date of the earthquake," said Weber. "Anyone who wants to can & # 39; & # 39 goes in, IRIS (iris.edu) and asks to download seismic data from Mars alike can & # 39; requires seismic data from the World."
The road that led to Weber in the center of & # 39; Research Center of the National scientific committee in Technology Technology & # 39; Huntsville seismology began to study in graduate school. She started the seismoloġija bottom of oċeanju – widely used by oil exploration industry – then had a chance to "look at seismic data from the moon.
"I said," Yes, I'm interested "Weber said." I did not know there was sismografi on the moon. "(There is thanks to NASA Apollo program.)
Weber made the first research & # 39; after the doctorate "with the team in France actually built the seismometers to Insight, and it started'm involved".
The team proposed the mission & # 39; Mars in 2010 to the NASA Discovery Program. That program to develop smaller missions for NASA funding is managed at the Center & # 39; Marshall Space Flight & # 39; Huntsville.
"The team was trying to obtain the seismometers on Mars for two years & # 39; before," said Weber. "So this is really the core of the value of all the career work of hundreds & # 39; people, probably thousands of & # 39; people in & # 39; this point, all were in favor of careers their seismic missions to other planets. "
Weber is a member of the science team meeting & # 39; regularly during the weeks and months of the opening of the mission as decisions on what maneuvers the craft must execute next. Thereafter, Insight will sit quietly listening to two & # 39; and send data back to Earth. the –
As he Insight, is just one of several NASA probes reach their destinations in deep space. These include:
– The Parker Solar Probe, made his first close approach towards 5 Months & # 39; November contained within 15 million miles from the star of the World and reached a speed of & # 39; 213 000 miles per hour.
– The OSIRIS-Rex probe is scheduled to arrive at the asteroid in space deep Bennu December 13 for a year & # 39; & # 39 a study; limit & # 39; tag up to collect samples and return.
– New Horizons will make the most flyby space & # 39; away today 1 & # 39; When it meets in January & # 39; with the object of the Kuiper Belt ultimata called Thule.