Mars continues to be one of the main international space exploration targets and almost an obsession for NASA, the only space agency that successfully installed vehicles on the red planet.
The first ship designed to study inside Mars land today to try to reveal the enigmas of the red planet's history. InSight, who came off the Earth on May 5, landed on the red planet at 4:47 pm (Argentina time).
In just five minutes, it dropped its speed of 17,300 kilometers per hour to just 8 km / h, to safely land on the Martian surface using retro-rockets.
The engineer Miguel San Martín, who has worked for a number of years in NASA and is responsible for the fall of the last 4 vehicles that were successfully granted by our neighbor planet, to explain to Infobae the importance of the new space mission.
Unlike the last trips, with the use of rovers, the InSight mission will be similar to legendary Viking, from 70s.
"This mission is part of the NASA Discovery program that includes" low "cost trips, but that does not suggest that they are not important. Insight is going to study inside Mars to better understand the formation and evolution of the rocket planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars) For example, it will try to discover if the core of Mars is solid or fluid, and determine the size of the core, the crust and the mantell. The way in which our Solar System was formed, "San Martín explained.
Unlike last trips, with the use of rovers, the InSight mission will be similar to the legendary Viking of 70s. The NASA Viking crew was launched seismometers launched in the late 1970s, only one of them had worked, but was much less sensitive because it was stable at the top of the auditor.
InSight is the first tool to land on Mars since he has done five and a half years ago by the Mars Science Laboratory, which is best known as Curiosity, who still works there.
The Seismic Experiment for Internal Structure (SEIS) was designed by the National Center for Space Studies (CNES) from France, while the Heat and Heritage Pack (HP3) heat sensor is a collaboration between German space agencies, DLR, and Polish, CBK.
InSight will try to find what is called "marsquakes" or Martian earthquakes, seismic waves that, as on Earth, pass through the different layers of the planet. These could provide information in Mars and its "live" is its nucleus, helping to understand its formation 4,500 million years ago.
Scientists expect to register up to a hundred earthquakes during the mission. The majority should be less than 6 on the Richter open scale. It can study how seismic waves can travel through the crust, the mantle and the red planet core to help them know more about how different layers are made and how thick they are.
"InSight's mission is a scanner sent deep inside the Mars to better understand the Earth's initial formation and all the rock blanket, we will be able to understand the composition of the mantle, see how big the crust is and What We do, we want to understand what happened in the first moments of creating, but on Earth that the evidence was largely eliminated by the tectonic plates and by touching the mantle, "said Bruce Banerdt , the chief investigator of the mission. at a press conference in the USA
Adriana Ocampo, operator of the New Horizons program of NASA, noted the importance of the mission in the light of a future mission with people: "We are interested in seismography, because if a planet moves, earthquakes or martemots will give us much information on If We want to send ships to Mars, the information gathered by InSight will be key to understanding the evolution of the planet and deciding how safe it is for people. "
San Martin also needed more details about the unusual mission to Mars
How will the ship fall? Why are not the airbags or cranes used as a Wonder?
The ship is a very real copy of the Phoenix Lander, developed by the Lockheed-Martin company. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is a mission's responsibility. The ship has "soft dryer" features, that is, which grows on three legs like Viking tours of the 70s, which is not surprising because the same company has developed & Both ships.
The crane used for the Intelligence mission in 2012, called SkyCrane, is needed when you want a big rover rover. For these types of trips the SkyCrane is very expensive. For the Spirit and Opportunity trips, the air bags that were bounced on the ground were used until the robot was stopped and used. JPL attempted to make a landing system economically and firmly on dangerous surfaces.
Lockheed-Martin developed this Lander system or a landing system that is also very economically, but not so robust to rough surfaces. As Insight is going to study inside Mars, scientists could choose a spacious and safer place to land, luxury that we can not afford when we make trips to search for evidence of life, for example.
What have you worked together in this mission?
In this mission, I was a member of the Access Board, Outcome, and Landing Advisory Board (EDLAG), a group of experts on landing systems that reviewed and advised the Insight collapse team over the years. I'm such a criticism and an adviser who is trying to offer my experience and information to the Insight team.
How will the interior of Mars be studied?
To study inside Mars this mission has three tools: 1) Seismography to measure Mars earthquakes, the consequence of meteorite effects, roaming Mars when it hides as a result of cooling and tide caused by a lack of silence (Phobos and We dare). This tool acts as a choreography using sound waves that are spread through the internal Mars to determine its structure, 2) Type of bread that bury up to 5 meters to measure gradient thermal to understand heat sources in the inside of the planet, 3) A radio instrument to measure how Mars rotation disappears and that way to determine whether it has a liquid or solid core.
InSight was initially organized for 2016, but a technical problem (detecting leaks into one of the instruments) forced NASA to defer the start of the project until Mars and Earth were back in the best position for the trip to be. shorter and the lowest energy expenditure possible.
This delay was an additional spend of 150 million dollars for NASA, raising the total cost of the mission to 800 million.
Despite this, it is expected that the agency, with the success of this mission, will be able to send a new space inspection vehicle in 2020 to look for signs of life and take samples from the land.