What You Should Know About NASA’s InSight Mission on Mars

Source: NASA

We have already sent many rovers to Mars, and every single time, we know the Red Planet slightly better. However, there is still a lot to study and reveal. Soon, we will be able to continue investigating it from its own surface. The next adventure begins (or continues) as InSight landed on the surface of Mars on November 26, 2018.

This is yet another mission of NASA, specifically in the hands of the engineers of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena (California, United States). The objective of this mission is to know the interiors of Mars better, studying its geology for the first time and analyzing its thermal balance and seismic processes.

A Long Way to Go That Started from Earth

As recalled by NASA itself, it is specifically its mission, although there is a participation of European institutions such as the Spanish Astrobiology Center (providing wind sensors), the Center National d’Études Spatiales (CNES), the Institut of Physique du Globe de Paris (IPGP) and the German Space Center (DLR) among others. The spaceship was built in Denver by Lockheed Martin who has worked with NASA on numerous projects such as the supersonic aircraft.

InSight Objective

The objective of this mission is to tackle an investigation that has not been carried out until now – that of the interiors of Mars. NASA specifically aims to study seismology, the temperature variations and the geology of our neighbor planet, placing the necessary sensors for its detection in the ship.

NASA also talks about the imminent return of man to the moon and announces plans for Mars and “the new ISS.” This will be useful, in addition to expanding our knowledge, to be more prepared when it comes to sending the man on the red planet, especially with the ideas of establishing bases and even colonies that we have seen before.

The InSight mission has not always enjoyed a fortune, nor has it been a bed of roses. In 2016, we talked about the launch of InSight after a previous cancellation by the US space agency due to failures found in two of the key instruments of the explorer robot. Finally, it was postponed until two years later, when the repair work finished (with a cost of 425 million dollars) and departed for the Red Planet last May.

Preparation of Its Flight

The InSight lander has a robotic arm to move the measuring instruments and two-color cameras to detect the best place to land them (one on the arm and one on the front of the lander). These instruments include a seismometer with six sensors and sensors for temperature, all protected with a shield designed to withstand high temperatures and high winds. The landing took place around 3 p.m. EST, which is equivalent to 21:00 in Spain, 20:00 in the Canary Islands, 14:00 in Mexico (CST) and 15:00 in Colombia (COT). NASA facilitated several ways to follow it live and many people interested in living this historic moment followed the retransmissions on its website, NASA TV, YouTube, and UStream.

Latest News from InSight

The entry, descent, and landing of InSight into the red planet began when the spacecraft landed in the Martian atmosphere. It landed safe and sound on Mars. It has ever since been educating the people of Earth regarding the red planet. Many pictures were revealed of the neighboring planet as captured by the spaceship. It has now opened up its solar arrays so that it can charge its batteries. This lander that cost $993 million now appears to be handling itself well and seems to be in good shape. According to the latest news, it will soon unfold its robotic arm and then deploy all its quake-sensors on the surface of Mars. Nasa engineers are proceeding with caution, although they are planning to work very soon with its robotic arm.

This spacecraft, which is waist-high, is expected to stay in Mars for two years, i.e. during the entire length of its mission on the Red Planet. NASA has not revealed anything about the condition of all the instruments that are on board InSight as of yet. However, there are high hopes of finding a bit more about Mars and communicating with the red planet through the InSight lander.

Stay tuned for the updates.

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