November 26 2018 – 14:54
After seven years of work and seven months of space travel, seven minutes of confusion will begin at the age of 16, Argentina's time.
Seven years of work, seven months of space travel and almost seven minutes of confusing: US researcher, InSight, is ready to touch Mars on Monday through a very dangerous landing movement. And NASA engineers who follow Earth surgery can not only cross their fingers: from the access to the Mediterranean atmosphere – with their sparkling storms – until their rocked feet connect, everything has to be programmed with hours in advance.
Even more cruel is that the signal that will indicate that InSight is secure and secure on the surface of Martian takes eight minutes to reach the mission management center, located in Pasadena, California. "With Mars, there is no guarantee, Mars is difficult," said Thomas Zurbuchen, head of NASA's scientific department, on Sunday, who has approved this mission almost $ 100 billion to study the red planet mix.
This is the first time since 2012 that Artiffact is trying to land on Mars, after NASA's curiosity carrier has been made, the only one that is currently active on the red planet's face. Only the US has managed to place artefacts there, investing in these trips with the aim of preparing a future assault with human searchers for the 2030s.
But more than half of the 43 attempts to take robots, satellites or others to Mars – operated by space agencies worldwide – have failed.
Faster than bullet
InSight must enter the atmosphere of Mars at 19:47 GMT, compulsory to avoid flying to pieces. Only temperature rubbing will cause the temperature to rise quickly to 1,500 ° C, but the auditor has prepared it with a heat shield after it reinforce to tolerate the effect. The search engine will then move to around 20,000 km / h, three to four times faster than a rifle bullet, and aim to reach a rectangular area of about 10 km by 24 km.
After starting a point on Earth, 480 million kilometers away, "it's like scoring a goal of 130,000 kilometers away," said NASA. Four minutes and a hundred kilometers away, a parachute will open automatically, slowing down the disk into a group. Then, once the heat shield is used, the device will open its three feet and the parachute will go away.
"We'll fall for a short moment, something that's absolutely awful to think of me," said Tom Hoffman, head of the InSight project for NASA. The search will quickly ignore its 12 retrocohetes that will slow down about 8 km / h down the device, which will weigh more than 365 kg. At 19:54 GMT, almost seven minutes after its first connection to the atmosphere, InSight should last "stick".
Magma and temperature
During that time, he was baptized as a "six and a half minutes of terror" by some, none and anyone could attend the InSight to correct his career or to blame. "I'm totally relaxing, but at the same time, it's absolutely nervous," said Hoffman. "We have done everything possible to achieve the success of the mission, but you do not know what can happen," he explained, recognizing that he has not "been able to sleep very well" recently.
The engineer and his colleagues, including a number of European scientists who have contributed to the advanced instruments that travel on an InSight board, must wait until 20:00 GMT to receive the first signal sent by the search. It's just that you can be sure it's all and have it well stabilized at its three feet. InSight later uses, slowly, the solar panels that will feed your instruments. From now on, you are expecting a busy program of work.
He must listen and scrutinize inside Mars to try to reveal the mysteries of his formation, billions of years ago. Information that could then allow to better understand the formation of Earth, the only rocky planet in which its interior has actually studied. InSight has a French, SIX concept seismometer, which is placed directly on the Martian soil and will hear its smallest vibrations: meteor shock waves, ground movements, rock strata crunches, even deep magma movements. .
HP3 is an extraordinary instrument, of German origin, and must dig between 3 and 5 meters of Mars surface to take its temperature. While there are wind sensors of the Spanish design ship.