Mankind has looked at Mars for centuries, dreams & # 39; X & # 39; can & # 39; be on the surface of its orange powder. As our telescopes improved, so did our press Planet Red, although scientists interpreting & # 39; that the increasing detail as incorrect (see: channel & # 39; Mars). The first mission b & # 39; success to see Mars up close, Mariner 4, beamed times views crater little blurry, but the missions that followed – those who have succeeded; The General & # 39; failure rate & # 39; over 50 per cent related to spacecraft Mars – added a clearer picture of the current truck and planet Earth.
More recently, scientists have found evidence & # 39; warmest ancient past and faster for the planet that could have hosted life like Earth, so the search for life continues, although now spreading to the past. And the planet has less movement & # 39; rift material movement than Earth, so its shape can & # 39; tell scientists about the formation of the solar system.
The mission of the Mars Insight of & # 39; NASA, put to touch Monday (26 & # 39; November), will be dedicated more & # 39; the bottom of the planet's surface than any mission before, teaches on inside the planet. Insight is smaller than many of the mission rovers and orbiters to before, but the latest in & # 39; & # 39 long line; emissarji robot to explore our neighbor Planetarium. [Missions to Mars: A Robot Red Planet Invasion History (Infographic)]
"Mars is an incredible natural laboratory next to the World," said Lori Glaze, director acting division of the planetary NASA sciences, at a meeting & # 39; information news for Insight on November 21. "We really want to understand emerged with & # 39; it the planetary diversity of rocks in our solar system – they are all very different, each one is unique in its own way, and try to understand how they ended up with Atari 39, is as equally real question. "
Moreover – rate & # 39; despite failure – the planet is comparatively easy to drop on the floor and is less likely to tidweb our equipment than Venus or Mercury.
The geology & # 39; Mars presents much evidence & # 39; Past water, increased Glaze, so "could & # 39; potentially was a place where life could have formed very early in the history & # 39; Wife and of course trying to understand how life is or has been distributed around the left our solar system is one of the key questions we have. "
Time Capsule early planets …
The Earth, the Mars and other planets of the rocks in our solar system glommed together from disk dust around the small sun, even warmer and warmer as material rose and coming in & # 39; bodies b & # 39; tebbieta and distinct cores. But we do not know much about what the earliest time in planetary history.
"F & # 39; Mars, that structure has been preserved over the last 4.5 billion years, while on the Earth, where we do study quite easily, that the whole structure started both plate tectonics, by convection mantle, and thus the very early processes evidence were removed & # 39; away on Earth, "said Bruce Banerdt, principal investigator Insight mission and researcher at the jet Propulsion Laboratory & # 39; NASA in California.
Just as studying comets – the leftover & # 39; this process & # 39; formation – tell researchers about solar earliest days of the system, examine the structure of & # 39; Mars by measuring the temperature of the planet and marsquakes may say scientists about the next step in planetary evolution.
And knowing more about the actual conditions & # 39; Mars could also help researchers to understand x & # 39; it was like in the past. [Why We’re Obsessed with Mars]
… and early World
"Mars is a very unique place in our solar system because it is one of the few planets think that really never was really similar to the World," Briony Horgan, a planetary scientist at Purdue University focuses on the geological history of moon and Mars, told Space.com. "Today, it is this cold place and inhospettabbli b & # 39; very thin atmosphere … low blood pressure, all radiation is sailing on the surface. But when we look at the geological record & # 39; Mars , we see large amounts of & # 39; things like channel & # 39; dried rivers., crimes lake cleaned and lake sediments; see ore worldwide which can form only in the presence of water. " [Water on Mars: Curiosity Rover Uncovers a Flood of Evidence]
Mars 3 or 4 billion years ago may have & # 39; many looked similar to early Earth, said Horgan, and while in the completion of our planet, the plate tectonics and other processes removed the rocks to go from then, Mars offers another chance to see them.
"The geology & # 39; Mars has much less active on the type of & # 39; scale the World is the rock 4 billion years ago are just on the surface," said Horgan. "Have not been reduced, not buried, not reduced – they just staying there, basically waited for engaging with them and trying to understand x & # 39; Are they old, 4 billion The circles & # 39; age a & # 39; age might have seemed like, and are supported life. "
Horgan is a scientist on the Mars Rover mission next 2020, the site & # 39; his descent agency announced on 19 & # 39; November. The 2020 Mars Rover follows the steps of & # 39; twin Viking associations & # 39; 1976, issued on the Red Planet to look for life according to scientists' best understanding of the planet's conditions, and the Rover Curiosity, which hit in 2012 to investigate past past habits a & # 39; Mars.
As our views of the Earth evolve, our tools also lives searching, Horgan said – after Spirit and Opportunity presented evidence & # 39; past water, Curiosity brought vast array of & # 39; science instruments to try to find organic or other evidence & # 39; near those old water beds. Mars in 2020 will build on the ongoing work by the Curiosity also bring a tool & # 39; even analysis, for example, organic & # 39; the images in the rock, seeking mikrofossili or tissues suggesting old biology. Scientists do not yet know if the water was leaking & # 39; often on the face, or have & # 39; was mostly frozen b & # 39; occasional dewħid due to volcanic activity.
"Some of the instruments in 2020 are really going to zero in finer detail of rock, type & # 39; things we can not see with & # 39; the instruments we have now, and samples of cache eventually, World, you & # 39; give long information and fundamental, "said John Grant, ġeologu at the Smithsonian Institution who has been in the science teams for Spirit and Opportunity, Kursuriżmu and Mars reconnaissance Orbiter. He also led the process to select the site & # 39; landing & # 39; Mars 2020.
"Insight is a very important part of & # 39; that, because no one [NASA’s previous missions] really – impaired – scratch below the surface in & # 39; evolution of the planet terms and understand how the planet has evolved over time, "added award.
"If we know anything about the internal structure and its evolution, we can say something about how much has been active, whether or not as active or not, and all have implications for changing conditions as related & … # 39; like habitability and whether there was past life ", he told Space.com. So although Insight is not directly address the life & # 39; Mars, "is all woven", he added.
And, of course, with plans evolving NASA to eventually send humans into & # 39; Mars, we learn something that will help to prepare for that moment.
"Yes, we will go back to the moon, but we also are on their way to Mars, and science [helps] make sure to understand the resources, and we understand that we understand the living conditions and understand x & # 39; to be researched there ", said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA scientific science directorate at the announcement of the site of & # 39; landing & # 39; Mars in 2020.
"That is, I would argue, an additional argument & # 39; over why Mars is so exciting for us," he added. "We will not go in & # 39; other place immediately our terrestrial planets for all obvious reasons: Mars is really the obvious place behind the moon to return and expand our presence in deeper space and more deep. "
So why we continue going to Mars? To learn about our solar system, to learn about the early Earth, to look for life and simply to learn about our neighbor before we visit.
"Science managing our understanding and allows humans to get in & # 39; place like Mars", Glaze said during the award & # 39; information. "The more we explore, we better understand that environment, the better prepared we will be to send humans to Mars in the future."
Send Sarah Lewin on [email protected] or issegwiha @SarahExplains. Follow us on Twitter @ Spacedotcom and on Facebook. Original article on Space.com.