Saturday , June 19 2021

The NASA InSight probe is on Mars

"Landing confirmed!": The US probe InSight set itself Monday on Martian soil and has already sent the first photo of the surface of the red planet.

After seven years of work and seven months of space travel, the US probe InSight "wound up" and shortly afterwards sent the image that aroused a whistle in the control center of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

From its entry into the atmosphere of Mars to "amartizaje" and the communication with the module, the controllers and engineers celebrated with hugs and cheers.

The process was perfect: the activation of the parachute, the deployment of its legs and the speed reduction of 19,800 km / h at 8 km / h in just seven minutes.

The first photo was sent by two satellites that accompanied InSight during his voyage to Mars.

"My first photo in #Mar", NASA wrote in an account created for InSight on Twitter. "The cover of my lens has not yet been removed, but I had to show you a first look at my new home."

It is the first time since 2012 that an artifact manages to land on Mars, after the Curiosity vehicle of NASA, the only one currently active on the surface of the red planet.

Only the United States has managed to place artifacts there, investing in these missions with the aim of preparing a future incursion with human explorers for the 2030s. But more than half of the 43 attempts to take to Mars robots, satellites or other – executed by space agencies around the world – have failed.

The $ 993 million InSight aims to record earthquakes on the red planet, which was formed millions of years ago as a rocky planet, like Earth, but that is still a great mystery.

– Faster than a bullet –

Nothing could go wrong in the "amortization", the slightest mistake would have made the probe fly.

NASA made "final tweaks to the algorithm that guides the spacecraft to the surface" hours before its entry into the atmosphere, where the temperature reached 1,500 ° C.

The probe had a reinforced thermal shield to tolerate the impact.

The probe moved about 20,000 km / h, three to four times faster than a rifle bullet, and had to reach a rectangular area of ​​about 10 km for 24 km. After having hit a point on Earth, 480 million kilometers from there, it was "how to score a goal 130,000 kilometers away," NASA said earlier.

Numerous European scientists who have contributed with the leading instruments that travel on board InSight.

After deploying the solar panels that will feed their instruments, a very busy work program awaits you.

He must listen and scrutinize the interior of Mars to try to reveal the mysteries of his formation, billions of years ago. Knowledge that could later enable us to better understand the formation of Earth, the only rocky planet from which its interior has been studied.

InSight is equipped with a French seismometer of design, SEIS, which will be placed directly on the Martian soil and will hear its minimal vibrations: meteorite shock waves, earth movements, crackles of rocky layers, even deep magma movements …

Another remarkable instrument, of German origin, is the HP3, which will have to excavate between 3 and 5 meters the surface of Mars to take its temperature.

The wind sensors of the ship are of Spanish design.

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