With InSight safe on the surface of Mars, the mission
a team at NASA's Laboratory for Motors in Pasadena, California, is busy
to learn more about landing a spacecraft. They knew when InSight
landed on November 26th that the spacecraft touched the target, a lava plain
called Elisium Planitia. Now they have determined that the vehicle is sitting a little
tilted (about 4 degrees) in the shallow bark of impacted tiles and sand
as "hollow". InSight is designed to work on the surface
with a slope of up to 15 degrees.
"The scientific team was hoping to land in the sandy
an area with several rocks, because we have chosen the landing place so that we can not be happier "
said InSight Project Manager Tom Hoffman from JPL. "No landing
pads or runways on Mars, then descends into an area that is basically large
sand without large rocks should facilitate the deployment of instruments and
provided a great place for our mole to begin to bury. "
A factor of splendor and slope in the landing
security and are also important to determine if InSight can succeed in your own
mission after landing. Rocks and slopes can affect the ability of InSight to accommodate
its probe for heat flow – also known as "mole" or HP3 –
and an ultra-sensitive seismometer, known as SEIS, on the surface of Mars.
Touching down on too steep slopes in
the wrong direction could also endanger the ability of the spacecraft to be adequate
power from its two solar arrays, while landing along the great rock could
prevented InSight from being able to open one of those arrays. In fact,
both arrays are fully deployed shortly after landing.
InSight Scientific Team
a preliminary assessment of the photos taken so far from the landing area
indicates that the area adjacent to the port is populated only
few rocks. It is expected that higher resolution images will begin to come in the course of the coming
days after InSight releases clear plastic dust covers that keep optics
from both cameras on a spacecraft safely at landing.
"We are hoping for a higher definition
images to confirm this preliminary assessment, "Bruce told the JPL
Bannert, chief inspector of InSight. "If these few pictures – with
reducing the resolution to reduce the dust of – is correct, it is good for both
deploying the instruments and piercing the mole of our underwater heat flow
sites on the surface of Mars have been carefully selected for the two main ones
instruments, the team will get rid of and initially initiate testing of the mechanical
a hand that will put them there. The picture above shows the ridge at the end of the
the hand is slowly changing, as expected, after it is switched off.
marked by the lander also indicate that during its first full day
Mars, the InSight spacecraft with solar power generates more electricity than
any previous vehicle on the surface of Mars.
it's great to get our first "off-world record" on our first full day on Mars,
Hoffman said. "But even better than achieving the generation of more electricity
from what mission before us is what it represents to carry our forthcoming
engineering assignments. The 4.588 watts we created during salt 1 means that we
currently have more than enough juice to perform these tasks and move forward
with our scientific mission ".
from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California May 5, InSight Will
work on the surface for a year of Mars, plus 40 Martian days, or tears
equivalent to almost two Earth years. InSight will study the deep inside
on Mars to learn how all celestial bodies with rocky surfaces, including the Earth
and the moon formed.
Manages InSight for NASA Scientific Mission Headquarters. InSight is part of
NASA's Detection Program, operated by the Marshall Space Marine Agency
in Huntsville, Alabama.
number of European partners, including the Center for National Nations in France
Spatiales (CNES) and German Airspace (DLR) support it
Mission in InSight. CNES, and the Institute of Physics du Globe de Paris (IPGP),
provided a SEIS instrument, with significant contributions from Max
Planck Institute of Solar System Research (MPS) in Germany, Switzerland
Institute of Technology (ETH) in Switzerland, Royal College and Oxford
University of the United Kingdom, and JPL. DLR is provided by HP3
instrument, with significant contributions from the Space Research Center (CBK)
of the Polish Academy of Sciences and Astronomy in Poland. Spain Centro de
Astrobiología (CAB) supplies wind sensors.
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Laboratory for Power Plant, Pasadena, California.