NASA’s Insight mission goes to Mars
Early in the morning on May 5 at 4:05 pm local time from the US Air Force base Vandenberg, California, the historic NASA expedition to Mars started. With the help of the Atlas-5 launch vehicle, the InSight spacecraft (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) went there. Before he lands on the surface of the Red Planet on November 26 this year, he will have to overcome 485 million kilometers.
The purpose of the Martian mission is to penetrate into the bowels of the planet. In the plans of scientists to learn the structure of the core of Mars, and in what state it is. Perhaps, it will be possible to determine the structure of its crust and mantle, and by measuring the surface temperature, NASA specialists will be able to determine the intensity of heat fluxes.
In the arsenal of InSight – a set of several scientific tools. Thus, using a high-precision seismograph, tectonic activity of Mars will be established in the framework of the SEIS experiment (Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure).
The device for determining heat fluxes – NRZ, which includes a probe, will drill a 6-meter well in the surface. Thanks to this, it becomes clear whether heat comes from the Martian depths.
Another device – RISE (Rotation and Interior Structure Experiment) will help scientists to fix and measure the level of vibrations of the Red Planet under the influence of the Sun. In addition to all this, InSight installed video cameras, similar to those on active rovers.
It is worthwhile to clarify that this spacecraft is stationary, and will always be in one place. In accordance with the program, he must land in the highlands of Elysium Planitia and work there until the end of the mission in November 2020.