Within a year, NASA will launch its new, regular mission to Mars. The stationary descent vehicle will have two CubeSat satellites. This will be the first test of humanity, to send small satellites into the depths of space. In case of success, CubeSat will transfer information from how the main module landed on Mars.
What are the satellites?
CubeSat is a small "diplomat." Created them at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in the form of spacecraft having compact dimensions using modern and available technologies.
In 2016, the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket will fly a Martian landing module, which will actively explore the internal structure of this planet. As part of the Insight mission, the CubeSat satellites will transmit detailed information to the Earth about the landers in the VHF and X bands. As part of this mission, these small satellites will be included as an experiment (and if suddenly, they can not successfully open up or run on the planet, it will not affect the successful completion of the entire project). With the help of the MRO probe, the Earth will have to communicate with InSight, but simultaneous reception and transmission of data at different radio frequencies is not supported, a one-way communication scenario with the landing module is possible.
As a result, only when InSight will be on Earth, it will be possible to talk about the success of the whole idea.
The trajectory of InSight and CubeSat is different, despite the fact that they are delivered to the desired planet by the same rocket, and this, in turn, allows you to control the landing of InSight and transfer the necessary information to Earth using the hidden capabilities.
If everything ends well, then the CubeSat satellites will become an integral part of future space missions.