NASA is ready to study the Martian heart

NASA is ready to study the Martian heart

An artistic vision of the future launch of a rocket with an InSight spacecraft in May 2018

NASA is going to take up the study of the Martian interior. On March 30, the space agency organized a press conference at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where they described the mission in detail.

The launch is scheduled for May 5, 2018, and the main goal of InSight is to explore the internal structure using seismology, geodesy and heat transfer analysis. This is a stationary landing module, which is destined for the first time to study the deep interior of the Red Planet. It is also the first mission since the time of Apollo, which plans to use a seismometer (picks up shakes on the planet).

You can take InSight as a time machine. After all, this analysis should bring us back 4.5 billion years ago, showing how exactly rocky bodies are formed in our system. InSight has a set of sensitive devices that can operate only on a stationary platform. In a sense, Mars is regarded as the neighboring “laboratory”, whose study will help to find the main differences from the crust, mantle and core. NASA is not the only agency interested in research. Partners were several European countries. So France provided a hypersensitive seismometer, and Germany developed a heat probe capable of going 5 meters deep and measuring the internal heat of the planet.

InSight is now at Vandenberg Air Force (California) base and is undergoing final preparations for the launch. On March 28, he performed a rotation test: the machine was spun to confirm its center of gravity.

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