NASA spacecraft lands on Mars after 6-month journey

27 November, 2018, 04:34 | Author: Harriet Bell
  • NASA Looking Toward Manned Mission To Mars 'Sometime In The 2030s'

A NASA spacecraft created to drill down into Mars' interior landed on the planet Monday after a perilous, supersonic plunge through its red skies, setting off jubilation among scientists who had waited in white-knuckle suspense for confirmation to arrive across 100 million miles of space. The lander's 12 descent engines will fire, slowing it down and straightening the spacecraft for what engineers hope will be a steady, soft landing in the Elysium Planitia region of Mars, about 373 miles (600 km) north of the Curiosity rover's initial landing site at Gale Crater. When the lander reaches the top of Mars' atmosphere it takes seven minutes to descend and land, during that time it needs to slow down from 12,300mph to near zero, endure a peak heat shield temperature of 1,500 degrees Celsius, successfully deploy a parachute, separate from the heat shield, and deploy three legs on which to land.

Add to that the fact that fewer than half of all attempted Mars landings have ended successfully, and it makes sense that there will definitely be some nervous energy as these events play out on another planet, with engineers blind to the process until it is complete. Even when viewed from Earth without a telescope, Mars appears reddish in color as it hangs amid the stars - in fact, its bloody appearance inspired ancient astronomers to name the planet after the Roman god of war, according to NASA.

"There's a reason engineers call landing on Mars "seven minutes of terror"," said Dr. Rob Grover, InSight's entry, descent and landing (EDL) lead, based at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. InSight will spend two years investigating the interior where the building blocks below the planet's surface that recorded its history.

About 20 minutes before landing, InSight will separate from the cruise stage that helped bring it all the way to Mars and turn to position itself for entering the atmosphere.

Immediately after landing, InSight's very first act was to snap a picture of the landscape immediately in front of it.

"It really depends on how benevolent Mars is feeling, how many marsquakes it throws at us", Banerdt said Sunday.

"Once we get to the surface, InSight is a slow-motion mission", InSight principal investigator Bruce Banerdt, also of JPL, said during yesterday's news conference.

The robotic geologist - created to explore Mars' mysterious insides - must go from 12,300 miles per hour (19,800 kph) to zero in six minutes flat as it pierces the Martian atmosphere, pops out a parachute, fires its descent engines and lands on three legs.

Jose Mourinho wants Man United to make this key signing in January
However, Giggs has backed Mourinho to turn things around, advising against welding the axe on his time at Old Trafford. Everyone in the changing room is a fighter and we want the best for the team and the club".

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp admits to big MISTAKE despite Watford hammering
That's already accepted, so nothing to say about that". One session with a specific demands of set-pieces. Fabinho was ready and then he got it.

Phil Mickelson edges Tiger Woods in playoff to earn $9m cash prize
Those side bets were to be paid to the respective players' charitable foundations with the players' own funds. Both players shot 69 in the regulation holes, with Woods making six birdies and three bogeys.

InSight has been traveling through deep space for more than six months.

InSight's science mission won't begin right away. By exploring Mars, InSight will also give us new insights into how the Earth and Moon formed.

InSight's 6-foot robotic arm will be used to place the instruments on the Martian surface, where they will be calibrated.

With InSight on Mars, what comes next? This spot is open, flat safe and boring, which is what the scientists want for a stationary two-year mission.

Next up is NASA's Mars 2020 rover, which is modeled on Curiosity and planned to launch in summer 2021 for a February 2021 landing.

The mission team will also use InSight's communications gear to measure the wobble of Mars' axial tilt.

The lander will touch down on Mars at 3pm ET (8pm GMT), on Monday, November 26.

The $1 billion worldwide mission features a German-led mechanical mole that will burrow down 16 feet (5 meters) to measure the planet's internal heat.

Recommended:



Popular

Oprah Winfrey's mother, Vernita Lee, died on Thanksgiving, family says
Oprah's smoked turkey: Oprah Winfrey takes to Instagram to show off her smoked turkey Thanksgiving spread with Chef Kenny Gilbert. She is survived by Winfrey and another daughter who she gave up for adoption shortly after birth, Patricia Amanda Faye Lee.

BLA commander being treated in New Delhi behind Chinese consulate attack
Investigators look at the belongings of attackers including grenades outside the Chinese consulate after an attack in Karachi . Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi later confirmed that the operation to secure the Chinese compound was over.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are moving out of Kensington Palace
It is also home to the Royal Burial Ground and the tomb of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert . "It was quite extraordinary". Harry's brother, Prince William , and his wife, Kate Middleton , also live on Kensington Palace property.

MC Mary Kom, Lovlina Borgohain Gear up For Semifinal Challenges
It will be Mary's second meeting with Hanna in three months. "I have fought with this girl in Poland and I have beaten her. So it is always tough when you play a taller opponent, due to their reach they have the advantage.

Missing Mitch Trubisky? Decision to sit Bears QB was ‘collaboration’
White has a strong history of success in handicapping the Packers, as he's an incredible 21-4 on spread picks involving Green Bay. Coach Matt Nagy says that Trubisky hurt his right shoulder in the fourth quarter during Sunday's game against the Vikings .

New federal report warns of more extreme weather disasters in the US
The White House report quietly issued today also frequently contradicts President Donald Trump. The Western states of the USA were at particular risk, the report claims.

Hamidou Diallo’s Ugly-Looking Injury Was Luckily Just A Sprained Ankle
Westbrook posted his first 2018-19 triple-double, while the 25-year-old German International scored a season-high 32 points. He has struggled on the court during the Warriors' 1-4 stretch, shooting 3-for-21 from 3-point range.

5 reasons why the iPad Pro should be your next computer
It's just $250 for the New iPad 2018 at Walmart , and it's the latest model that came out in March of this year. If you don't want to shop at Walmart, B&H Photo now has the same iPad for 284.95, and they don't charge tax.

Black Friday 2018: Here Are All The Best Deals!
Prima Interactive CEO Ian Hepplewhite hopes that these great discounts will get even more people to jump aboard the Xbox train. Red Dead Redemption has been on discount too, but it's going like hot potatoes so you will have to watch back for more offers.

Gibraltar open to direct talks with Spain - 11/22/2018 9:02:10 AM
But Borrell rejected this idea, suggesting Sunday's meeting should not take place if the issue were not resolved beforehand. European diplomats and EU officials have been in intense talks on the declaration this week.