This summer, they increasingly began to talk about the preparation of the InSight machine. Next year he is scheduled to launch from Vanderberg Air Force Base (California). Tests of a spacecraft near Denver are underway.
Already performed grounding, integration of tools and complete the test acoustics, deployment of instruments and tests for thermal equilibrium. This will be the first mission, which will concentrate on studying the Martian interior.
Over the past 3 billion years, the inner part of the planet has passed through changes, but it should have been able to preserve the remnants of early sediments.
The landing part of the ship InSight rises from the base in preparation for the tests (June 20, 2017)
The launch begins in the 5-week period from May 5, 2018. The date is chosen to reach the planet on Monday after Thanksgiving.
The mission will establish a stable landing gear near the equatorial line. Two solar panels will unfold in the form of fans, and the landing pad extends for 6 meters. InSight will spend several weeks running a robotic claw to install two main instruments on the surface:
- seismometer. It is protected by screens from the wind, and its subtle sensitivity will allow to catch the movement of the surface. He will be able to mark seismic waves from “marked sources” or meteorite falls.
- heat probe - set to a depth of 3 meters to determine the amount of energy released from the deep inner space of the planet.
Experts check the cascade of the ship InSight in 2017
In the third experiment, a broadcast between the planets is used to estimate the Martian axial rotation and the size of the planetary core.
Earlier, the launch of the mission was planned for March 2016, but there was a leak in the metal container, where the main sensors of the seismometer were located.
The problem has been fixed and the last tests are now being carried out in order to have time for launching at specific weeks, otherwise we will have to wait another 26 months.
Upper part of scientific deck InSight with scientific instruments and robotic arm