Published: Fri, November 30, 2018
Sci-tech | By Laverne Osborne

Mars touchdown: NASA spacecraft survives supersonic plunge

Mars touchdown: NASA spacecraft survives supersonic plunge

On clear days, the panels will provide InSight with between 600 and 700 watts, which is roughly enough to power a standard kitchen blender.

Tilman Spohn, principal investigator of the HP3 experiment, said, "our plan is to use these measurements to determine the temperature of Mars' interior and to characterize the current geological activity beneath its crust".

"Dust devils on Mars, when those go by even from several hundred meters away from the lander, we should be able to see the pressure perturbation from that", said Banfield. Another experiment will calculate Mars' wobble to reveal the makeup of the planet's core.

Like every mission to Mars, InSight would not have been possible without a high level of meticulously planned global coordination involving hundreds of researchers and engineers.

The nail-biting entry, descent and landing phase began at 11:47am (02:00am on Tuesday in Cambodia) at Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, home to mission control for Mars InSight, and ended one second before 11:53am. On Monday, Nov. 26, NASA TV will broadcast the landing from 11 a.m.to 12:30 p.m. PST/2 p.m.to 3:30 p.m. EST.

Of course, the fact of the successful landing of the Rover can hardly be attributed to any noteworthy achievements, but it must be noted that the research Rover landed on the planet in the midst of a new dust storm, although not as strong as the former. MarCO shared data about InSight when it entered the Martian atmosphere for the landing.

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France's CNES made the SEIS instrument, while the German Aerospace Center (DLR) provided a self-hammering mole that can burrow five metres into the surface - farther than any instrument before - to measure heat flow.

They were nicknamed EVE and WALL-E, for the robots from the 2008 Pixar film.

"WALL-E and EVE performed just as we expected them to", MarCO chief engineer Andy Klesh at JPL said. "They are a demonstration of potential future capability". Before InSight, only about 40 percent of martian landings were successful, according to a statement.

The lander, says the JPL, uses the Instrument Deployment Arm (IDA) to place the instruments on the ground.

"We are announcing new Moon partnerships with American companies". Dozens of operations and thousands of lines of code were pre-programmed into the machinery and memory of the spacecraft and by all accounts they executed perfectly.

InSight's mission voyage to Mars and ongoing communications will also be supported by the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex (CDSCC), which is managed by the CSIRO on behalf of NASA.

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