Again, the United States landed on Mars


Image: JPL-Caltech / NASA

Mission InSight (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat TransportInSight) on November 26 at approximately 15:00 on time of East coast USA (23:00 Moscow time) made a soft landing on the surface of the Martian plain of Elysium. Corresponding to the online broadcast was conducted by NASA.

Planting unit weight of 385 pounds was preceded by deceleration in the Martian atmosphere, which began at a distance of about 125 kilometers from the planet’s surface. The decrease in the gas shell of a celestial body took about 6.5 minutes. The opening of the parachute with a diameter of 11.88 meters occurred at a distance of 12 kilometers from the planet’s surface. 15 seconds before the touch the device has released the supports and descend to the surface at a speed of about 8 kilometers per hour.

In 16 minutes after landing on Elision (estimated time of sedimentation raised the camera dust) began the erection of solar panels which has lasted about 16 minutes.

Communication with the lander on a regular basis will be through the system of deep space communications. Also in the next two weeks for these purposes it is planned to use a pair of microsatellites MarCo (Mars Cube One). Machines a weight of 13.6 kgs each equipped with 8 motors, the receiving and transmitting antennas and capable of transmitting information to Earth from a three-hour delay. With the help of MarCo, NASA plans to demonstrate the possibility of using microsatellites in deep space.

Interplanetary spacecraft InSight lander was launched on a trajectory to Mars on may 5 launch vehicle Atlas V launched from air force base Vandenberg (California). The mission was announced to study the geological history of the red planet, including a search for possible signs of life.

InSight lander equipped with a seismometer SEIS (Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure) and probe HP (Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package), which needs to drill a well at a depth of five meters. The battery, consisting of 3200 solar cells under Mars conditions, depending on the dust content in the atmosphere, should provide a power of 300-600 watts. Autonomous power source, mounted on the InSight, is able to provide a work station during one Martian day (37 minutes longer than earth’s).

The study is expected to last for one Martian year (of 1.88 earth years), after which the findings allowed the decision on the continuation of the work.

Currently on the surface of the red planet are the American Mars Rovers Opportunity (2004) and Curiosity (2012). Rover Opportunity — record breaker (since June because of a dust storm is in sleep mode), and Curiosity is the heaviest Rover (it weighs 900 kilograms).

Video, photo All from Russia.


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