Top: Artist's rendering of the InSight lander
Bottom: Artist's rendering of the MarCO CubeSats
|Names||Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport |
Geophysical Monitoring Station
|Mission type||Mars lander|
|Operator||NASA / JPL|
|Mission duration||Planned: 709 sols (728 days) |
Current: 137 sols (140 days) since landing
|Manufacturer||Lockheed Martin Space Systems|
|Launch mass||694 kg (1,530 lb)|
|Landing mass||358 kg (789 lb)|
|Dimensions||Deployed: 6.0 × 1.56 × 1.0 m (19.7 × 5.1 × 3.3 ft) -|
|Power||600 W, solar / Li-ion battery|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||5 May 2018, 11:05 UTC|
|Rocket||Atlas V 401|
|Launch site||Vandenberg SLC-3E|
|Contractor||United Launch Alliance|
|Landing date||26 November 2018, 19:52:59 UTC|
|Landing site|| Elysium Planitia |
|Flyby of Mars|
|Spacecraft component||Mars Cube One (MarCO)|
|Closest approach||26 November 2018, 19:52:59 UTC|
|Distance||3,500 km (2,200 mi)|
The Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) UTC aboard an Atlas V-401 rocket and successfully landed at Elysium Planitia on Mars on 26 November 2018 at 19:52:59 UTC. InSight traveled 483 million km (300 million mi) during its journey.mission is a robotic lander designed to study the deep interior of the planet Mars. It was manufactured by Lockheed Martin, is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and most payload instruments it carries were built by European agencies. The mission launched on 5 May 2018 at 11:05
A robotic spacecraft is an uncrewed spacecraft, usually under telerobotic control. A robotic spacecraft designed to make scientific research measurements is often called a space probe. Many space missions are more suited to telerobotic rather than crewed operation, due to lower cost and lower risk factors. In addition, some planetary destinations such as Venus or the vicinity of Jupiter are too hostile for human survival, given current technology. Outer planets such as Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune are too distant to reach with current crewed spacecraft technology, so telerobotic probes are the only way to explore them.
A lander is a spacecraft which descends toward and comes to rest on the surface of an astronomical body. By contrast with an impact probe, which makes a hard landing and is damaged or destroyed so ceases to function after reaching the surface, a lander makes a soft landing after which the probe remains functional.
Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun and the second-smallest planet in the Solar System after Mercury. In English, Mars carries a name of the Roman god of war, and is often referred to as the "Red Planet" because the reddish iron oxide prevalent on its surface gives it a reddish appearance that is distinctive among the astronomical bodies visible to the naked eye. Mars is a terrestrial planet with a thin atmosphere, having surface features reminiscent both of the impact craters of the Moon and the valleys, deserts, and polar ice caps of Earth.
InSight's objectives are to place a seismometer, called SEIS, on the surface of Mars to measure seismic activity and provide accurate 3D models of the planet's interior; and measure internal heat flow using a heat probe called HP3 to study Mars' early geological evolution. This could bring a new understanding of how the Solar System's terrestrial planets – Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars – and Earth's Moon form and evolve.
A seismometer is an instrument that responds to ground motions, such as caused by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and explosions. Seismometers are usually combined with a timing device and a recording device to form a seismograph. The output of such a device — formerly recorded on paper or film, now recorded and processed digitally — is a seismogram. Such data is used to locate and characterize earthquakes, and to study the earth's internal structure.
The Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS) is a seismometer and the primary scientific instrument on board the InSight Mars lander launched on 5 May 2018 for a landing on 26 November 2018; the instrument was deployed to the surface of Mars on 19 December. SEIS is expected to provide seismic measurements of Mars, enabling researchers to develop 3D structure maps of the deep interior. Better understanding the Martian interior will lead to better understanding of the Earth, Moon, and rocky planetary bodies in general.
Heat transfer is a discipline of thermal engineering that concerns the generation, use, conversion, and exchange of thermal energy (heat) between physical systems. Heat transfer is classified into various mechanisms, such as thermal conduction, thermal convection, thermal radiation, and transfer of energy by phase changes. Engineers also consider the transfer of mass of differing chemical species, either cold or hot, to achieve heat transfer. While these mechanisms have distinct characteristics, they often occur simultaneously in the same system.
The lander was originally planned for launch in March 2016. US$675 million to a total of US$830 million. By reusing technology from the Mars Phoenix lander, which successfully landed on Mars in 2008, mission costs and risks were reduced.Following a persistent vacuum failure in the SEIS instrument prior to launch, with the 2016 launch window missed, InSight was returned to Lockheed Martin's facility in Denver, Colorado, for storage. NASA officials decided in March 2016 to delay launching InSight to May 2018. This allowed time for the seismometer issue to be fixed, although it increased the cost from the previous
Phoenix was a robotic spacecraft on a space exploration mission on Mars under the Mars Scout Program. The Phoenix lander landed on Mars on May 25, 2008. Mission scientists used instruments aboard the lander to assess the local habitability and to research the history of water there. The total mission cost was about US $386 million, which includes cost of the launch.
InSight was initially known as GEMS (Geophysical Monitoring Station), but its name was changed in early 2012 following a request by NASA. US$3 million in May 2011 to develop a detailed concept study. In August 2012, InSight was selected for development and launch. Managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) with participation from scientists from several countries, the mission was cost-capped at US$425 million, not including launch vehicle funding.Out of 28 proposals from 2010, it was one of the three Discovery Program finalists receiving
NASA's Discovery Program is a series of lower-cost, highly focused American scientific space missions that are exploring the Solar System. It was founded in 1992 to implement then-NASA Administrator Daniel S. Goldin's vision of "faster, better, cheaper" planetary missions. Discovery missions differ from traditional NASA missions where targets and objectives are pre-specified. Instead, these cost-capped missions are proposed and led by a scientist called the Principal Investigator (PI). Proposing teams may include people from industry, small businesses, government laboratories, and universities. Proposals are selected through a competitive peer review process. All of the completed Discovery missions are accomplishing ground-breaking science and adding significantly to the body of knowledge about the Solar System.
The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is a federally funded research and development center and NASA field center in La Cañada Flintridge, California, United States, though it is often referred to as residing in Pasadena, California, because it has a Pasadena ZIP Code.
Lockheed Martin began construction of the lander on 19 May 2014,with general testing starting in 27 May 2015.
A persistent vacuum leak in the CNES-supplied seismometer known as the Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS) led NASA to postpone the planned launch in March 2016 to May 2018. When InSight was delayed, the rest of the spacecraft was returned to Lockheed Martin's factory in Colorado for storage, and the Atlas V rocket intended to launch the spacecraft was reassigned to the WorldView-4 mission.
The National Centre for Space Studies (CNES) is the French government space agency. Its headquarters are located in central Paris and it is under the supervision of the French Ministries of Defence and Research.
Atlas V is an expendable launch system in the Atlas rocket family. It was formerly operated by Lockheed Martin and is now operated by United Launch Alliance (ULA), a joint venture with Boeing. Each Atlas V rocket uses a Russian-built RD-180 engine burning kerosene and liquid oxygen to power its first stage and an American-built RL10 engine burning liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen to power its Centaur upper stage. The RD-180 engines are provided by RD Amross, while Aerojet Rocketdyne provides both the RL10 engines and the strap-on boosters used in some configurations. The standard payload fairing sizes are 4 or 5 meters in diameter and of various lengths. Fairings sizes as large as 7.2 m in diameter and up to 32.3 m in length have been considered. The rocket is assembled in Decatur, Alabama and Harlingen, Texas.
WorldView-4, previously known as GeoEye-2, is a third generation commercial Earth observation satellite launched on 11 November 2016. The spacecraft is operated by DigitalGlobe. With a maximum resolution of 31 cm (12 in), WorldView-4 provides similar imagery as WorldView-3, the highest resolution commercially available at the time of its launch.
On 9 March 2016, NASA officials announced that InSight would be delayed until the 2018 launch window at an estimated cost of US$150 million. The spacecraft was rescheduled to launch on 5 May 2018 for a Mars landing on 26 November at 3 p.m. The flight plan remained unchanged with launch using an Atlas V rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory was tasked with redesigning and building a new vacuum enclosure for the SEIS instrument, while CNES conducted instrument integration and testing.
On 22 November 2017 InSight completed testing in a thermal vacuum, also known as TVAC testing, where the spacecraft is put in simulated space conditions with reduced pressure and various thermal loads. million names from the public was added to the lander.On 23 January 2018, after a long storage, its solar panels were once again deployed and tested, and a second silicon chip containing 1.6
Seismometers on both Viking spacecraft were mounted on the lander, and picked up vibrations from various operations of the lander and from the wind.However, the Viking 1 lander's seismometer did not deploy properly in 1976 after it landed; the seismometer remained locked and did not unlock. The Viking 2 seismometer did unlock, and was able to vibrate and return data to Earth. One problem was accounting for other data, as this was the issue with an event detected on Sol 80 by the Viking 2 seismometer. When this event was recorded, no wind data were recorded at the same time, so it was not possible to determine if the data indicated a seismic event or wind gust. However, for the Sol 80 event the main problem was not wind noise per se, but rather a lack of other data to rule out other sources of vibrations. Two other problems were the location of the lander and that a certain level of wind on Mars caused a loss of sensitivity for the Viking 2 seismometer. InSight has many other sensors, is placed directly on the surface, and also has a wind shield.
Despite the difficulties, the Viking 2 seismometer readings were used to estimate a Martian geological crust thickness between 14 and 18 km (8.7 and 11.2 mi) at the Viking 2 lander site. The Viking 2 seismometer did detect vibrations from Mars winds complementing the meteorology results. There was the aforementioned candidate for a possible marsquake, but is not particularly definitive. The wind data did prove useful in its own right, and despite the limitations of the data, widespread and large marsquakes were not detected.
Seismometers were also left on the Moon, starting with Apollo 11 in 1969, and also by Apollo 12, 14, 15 and 16 missions and provided many insights into lunar seismology, including the discovery of moonquakes.The Apollo seismic network, which was operated until 1977, detected at least 28 moonquakes up to 5.5 on the Richter scale.
One of the aspects of the InSight mission is to compare the Earth, Moon, and Mars seismic data to learn more.
Well, seismic investigation is really the heart of this mission. Seismology is the method that we've used to gain almost everything we know, all the basic information about the interior of the Earth, and we also used it back during the Apollo era to understand and to measure sort of the properties of the inside of the moon. And so, we want to apply the same techniques but use the waves that are generated by Mars quakes, by meteorite impacts to probe deep into the interior of Mars all the way down to its core.
Radio Doppler measurements were taken with Viking and twenty years later with Mars Pathfinder , and in each case the axis of rotation of Mars was estimated. By combining this data the core size was constrained, because the change in axis of rotation over 20 years allowed a precession rate and from that the planet's moment of inertia to be estimated. 's measurements of crust thickness, mantle viscosity, core radius and density, and seismic activity should result in a three- to tenfold increase in accuracy compared to current data.InSight
The InSight mission placed a single stationary lander on Mars to study its deep interior and address a fundamental issue of planetary and Solar System science: understanding the processes that shaped the rocky planets of the inner Solar System (including Earth) more than four billion years ago.
InSight's primary objective is to study the earliest evolutionary history of the processes that shaped Mars. By studying the size, thickness, density and overall structure of Mars' core, mantle and crust, as well as the rate at which heat escapes from the planet's interior, InSight will provide a glimpse into the evolutionary processes of all of the rocky planets in the inner Solar System. The rocky inner planets share a common ancestry that begins with a process called accretion. As the body increases in size, its interior heats up and evolves to become a terrestrial planet, containing a core, mantle and crust. Despite this common ancestry, each of the terrestrial planets is later shaped and molded through a poorly understood process called differentiation. InSight mission's goal is to improve the understanding of this process and, by extension, terrestrial evolution, by measuring the planetary building blocks shaped by this differentiation: a terrestrial planet's core, mantle and crust.
The mission will determine if there is any seismic activity, measure the rate of heat flow from the interior, estimate the size of Mars' core and whether the core is liquid or solid.This data would be the first of its kind for Mars. It is also expected that frequent meteor airbursts (10–200 detectable events per year for InSight) will provide additional seismo-acoustic signals to probe the interior of Mars. The mission's secondary objective is to conduct an in-depth study of geophysics, tectonic activity and the effect of meteorite impacts on Mars, which could provide knowledge about such processes on Earth. Measurements of crust thickness, mantle viscosity, core radius and density, and seismic activity should result in a three- to tenfold increase in accuracy compared to current data. This is the first time a robotic lander dug this deep into the martian crust.
In terms of fundamental processes shaping planetary formation, it is thought that Mars contains the most in-depth and accurate historical record, because it is big enough to have undergone the earliest accretion and internal heating processes that shaped the terrestrial planets, but is small enough to have retained signs of those processes.The science phase is expected to last for two years.
The mission further develops a design based on the 2008 Phoenix Mars lander.Because InSight is powered by solar panels, it landed near the equator to enable maximum power for a projected lifetime of two years (1 Martian year). The mission includes two relay microsatellites called Mars Cube One (MarCO) that launched with InSight but were flying in formation with InSight to Mars.
Three major aspects to the InSight spacecraft are the cruise stage, the entry, descent, and landing system, and the lander.
InSight's lander payload has a total mass of 50 kg, including science instruments and support systems such as the Auxiliary Payload Sensor Suite, cameras, the instrument deployment system, and a laser retroreflector.
InSight will perform three major experiments using SEIS, HP3 and RISE.SEIS is a very sensitive seismometer, measuring vibrations; HP3 involves a burrowing probe to measure the thermal properties of the subsurface. RISE uses the radio communication equipment on the lander and on Earth to measure the overall movement of planet Mars that could reveal the size and density of its core.
The two relay 6U cubesats were part of the overall InSight program, and were launched at the same time as the lander but they were attached to the centaur upper stage (InSight's second stage in the launch).They were ejected from the stage after launch and coasted to Mars independent of the main InSight cruise stage with the lander.
On 28 February 2018, InSight was shipped via C-17 cargo aircraft from the Lockheed Martin Space Systems building in Denver to the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California in order to be integrated to the launch vehicle.The lander was launched on 5 May 2018 and arrived on Mars at approximately 19:54 UTC on 26 November 2018.
|Wikinews has related news: NASA's InSight lander and MarCO craft launch in new mission to Mars|
The spacecraft was launched on 5 May 2018 at 11:05 UTC on an Atlas V 401 launch vehicle (AV-078) from Vandenberg Air Force Base Space Launch Complex 3-East. This was the first American interplanetary mission to launch from California.
The launch was managed by NASA's Launch Services Program. InSight was originally scheduled for launch on 4 March 2016 on an Atlas V 401 (4 meter fairing/zero (0) solid rocket boosters/single (1) engine Centaur) from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, U.S.,but was called off in December 2015 due to a vacuum leak on the SEIS instrument. The rescheduled launch window ran from 5 May to 8 June 2018.
Major components of the launch vehicle include:
The journey to Mars took 6.5 months across 484 million km (301 million mi) for a touchdown on 26 November. After a successful landing, a three-month-long deployment phase commenced as part of its two-year (a little more than one Martian year) prime mission.
After its launch from Earth on the 5th of May in 2018, it coasted through interplanetary space for 6.5 months traveling across 484 million km (301 million mi) for a touchdown on the 26th November in that year.
InSight cruise stage departed Earth at a speed of 6,200 miles per hour (10,000 kilometers per hour).The MarCo probes were ejected from the 2nd stage Centaur booster and traveled to Mars independent of the InSight cruise stage, but they were all launched together
During the cruise to Mars, the InSight cruise stage makes several course adjustments, and the first of these (TCM-1) took place on May 22, 2018.The cruise stage that carries the lander includes solar panels, antenna, star trackers, sun sensor, inertial measurement unit among its technologies. The thrusters are actually on the InSight lander itself, but there are cutouts in the shell so the relevant rockets can vent into space.
The final course correction was November 25, 2018, the day before its touch down.A few hours before making contact with the Martian atmosphere, the cruise stage was jettisoned, on 26 November 2018.
On 26 November 2018, at approximately 19:53 UTC, mission controllers received a signal via the Mars Cube One (MarCO) satellites that the spacecraft had successfully touched downat Elysium Planitia. After landing, the mission will take three months to deploy and commission the geophysical science instruments. It will then begin its mission of observing Mars, which is planned to last for two years.
The mass that entered the atmosphere of Mars was 1,340 pounds (608 kilograms) .
There are three major stages to InSight's landing:
The lander mass is about 358 kg (789 lb) but on Mars which has gravity 0.376 of Earth's it will weigh only 134.608 kg (296.76 lb)
On 26 November 2018 InSight successfully touched down in Elysium Plantia.
A few hours after landing, NASA's 2001 Mars Odyssey orbiter relayed signals indicating that InSight's solar panels had successfully unfurled and are generating enough electrical power to recharge its batteries daily. Odyssey also relayed a pair of images showing InSight's landing site. More images would be taken in stereo pairs to create 3D images, allowing InSight to find the best locations on the surface to place the heat probe and seismometer. Over the next few weeks, InSight would check health indicators and monitor both weather and temperature conditions at the landing site.
As InSight's science goals are not related to any particular surface feature of Mars, potential landing sites were chosen on the basis of practicality. Candidate sites needed to be near the equator of Mars to provide sufficient sunlight for the solar panels year round, have a low elevation to allow for sufficient atmospheric braking during EDL, flat, relatively rock-free to reduce the probability of complications during landing, and soft enough terrain to allow the heat flow probe to penetrate well into the ground.
An optimal area that meets all these requirements is Elysium Planitia, so all 22 initial potential landing sites were located in this area. 130 by 27 km (81 by 17 mi).The only two other areas on the equator and at low elevation, Isidis Planitia and Valles Marineris, are too rocky. In addition, Valles Marineris has too steep a gradient to allow safe landing. In September 2013, the initial 22 potential landing sites were narrowed down to 4, and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter was then used to gain more information on each of the 4 potential sites before a final decision was made. Each site consists of a landing ellipse that measures about
In March 2017, scientists from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory announced that the landing site had been selected. It is located in western Elysium Planitia at 600 km (370 mi) north from where the Curiosity rover is operating in Gale Crater.. The landing site is about
On 26 November 2018 the spacecraft successfully touched down at its landing site,and in early December 2018 InSight lander and EDL components were imaged from space on the surface of Mars.
On 26 November 2018, NASA reported that the InSight lander had landed successfully on Mars. The meteorological suite (TWINS) and magnetometer are operational, and the mission will take up to three months to deploy and commission the geophysical science instruments.One of the first critical tasks was to unfurl the solar panels for the batteries to be recharged. After landing, the dust was allowed to settle for a few hours, time during which the solar array motors were warmed up and then the solar panels were unfurled. The lander then reported its systems' status, acquired some images, and it powered down to sleep mode for its first night on Mars. On its first sol on Mars it set a new solar power record of 4.6 kilowatt-hours generated for a single Martian day (known as a "sol"). This amount is enough to support operations and deploy the sensors.
On December 7, 2018 InSight recorded the sounds of Martian winds with SEIS, which is able to record vibrations within human hearing range, although rather low (aka subwoofer-type sounds), and these were sent back to Earth.This was the first time the sound of Mars wind was heard after two previous attempts.
On 19 December 2018, the SEIS instrument was deployed onto the surface of Mars next to the lander by its robotic arm,and it was commissioned on 4 February 2019. After the seismometer became fully operational, the heat probe instrument was deployed on 12 February 2019.
On 28 February 2019, the Heat and Physical Properties Package probe (HP³) started its drilling into the surface of Mars. The probe and its digging mole were intended to reach a maximum depth of 5 m (16 ft) about two months after.
On 7 March 2019, the HP³ instrument’s mole paused its digging. The mole had made it about 30 cm (12 in) or three quarters of the way out of its housing structure and into the ground. Engineers think the mole hit a rock which caused it to make little progress since 2 March 2019. Both NASA and JPL continue to look into the cause of the under-performing tool and for potential solutions. Scientifically useful measurements are possible at a depth of 3 m (9.8 ft).
The Mars Cube One (MarCO) spacecraft are a pair of 6U CubeSats that piggybacked with the InSight mission to test CubeSat navigation and endurance in deep space, and to help relay real-time communications (eight minute delay) 's telemetry in real time. On 5 February 2019, NASA reported that the CubeSats went silent, and are unlikely to be heard from again.during the probe's entry, descent and landing (EDL) phase. The two 6U CubeSats, named MarCO A and B, are identical, they were launched along with InSight, but separated soon after reaching space, and they flew as a pair for redundancy while flanking the lander. They did not enter orbit, but flew past Mars during the EDL phase of the mission and relayed InSight
The InSight science and engineering team includes scientists and engineers from many disciplines, countries and organizations. The science team assigned to InSight includes scientists from institutions in the U.S., France, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Japan, Switzerland, Spain, Poland and the United Kingdom.
Mars Exploration Rover project scientist W. Bruce Banerdt is the principal investigator for the InSight mission and the lead scientist for the SEIS instrument. 's HP3 instrument. The Principal Investigator for RISE is William Folkner at JPL. The InSight mission team also includes project manager Tom Hoffman and deputy project manager Henry Stone. Major contributing agencies and institutions are:Suzanne Smrekar, whose research focuses on the thermal evolution of planets and who has done extensive testing and development on instruments designed to measure the thermal properties and heat flow on other planets, is the lead for InSight
As part of its public outreach, NASA organized a program where members of the public were able to have their names sent to Mars aboard InSight. Due to its launch delay, two rounds of sign-ups were conducted totaling 2.4 million names: 826,923 names were registered in 2015 and a further 1.6 million names were added in 2017. An electron beam was used to etch letters only 1⁄1000 the width of a human hair onto 8 mm (0.3 in) silicon wafers. The first chip was installed on the lander in November 2015 and the second on 23 January 2018.
Mariner 3 was one of two identical deep-space probes designed and built by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for NASA's Mariner-Mars 1964 project that were intended to conduct close-up (flyby) scientific observations of the planet Mars and transmit information on interplanetary space and the space surrounding Mars, televised images of the Martian surface and radio occultation data of spacecraft signals as affected by the Martian atmosphere back to Earth. It was the third of ten spacecraft within the Mariner program.
Mars Express is a space exploration mission being conducted by the European Space Agency (ESA). The Mars Express mission is exploring the planet Mars, and is the first planetary mission attempted by the agency. "Express" originally referred to the speed and efficiency with which the spacecraft was designed and built. However "Express" also describes the spacecraft's relatively short interplanetary voyage, a result of being launched when the orbits of Earth and Mars brought them closer than they had been in about 60,000 years.
The Mars Climate Orbiter was a 338-kilogram (745 lb) robotic space probe launched by NASA on December 11, 1998 to study the Martian climate, Martian atmosphere, and surface changes and to act as the communications relay in the Mars Surveyor '98 program for Mars Polar Lander. However, on September 23, 1999, communication with the spacecraft was lost as the spacecraft went into orbital insertion, due to ground-based computer software which produced output in non-SI units of pound-force seconds (lbf·s) instead of the SI units of newton-seconds (N·s) specified in the contract between NASA and Lockheed. The spacecraft encountered Mars on a trajectory that brought it too close to the planet, and it was either destroyed in the atmosphere or re-entered heliocentric space after leaving Mars' atmosphere.
The Mars Polar Lander, also known as the Mars Surveyor '98 Lander, was a 290-kilogram robotic spacecraft lander launched by NASA on January 3, 1999 to study the soil and climate of Planum Australe, a region near the south pole on Mars. It formed part of the Mars Surveyor '98 mission. On December 3, 1999, however, after the descent phase was expected to be complete, the lander failed to reestablish communication with Earth. A post-mortem analysis determined the most likely cause of the mishap was premature termination of the engine firing prior to the lander touching the surface, causing it to strike the planet at a high velocity.
The planet Mars has been explored remotely by spacecraft. Probes sent from Earth, beginning in the late 20th century, have yielded a large increase in knowledge about the Martian system, focused primarily on understanding its geology and habitability potential. Engineering interplanetary journeys is complicated and the exploration of Mars has experienced a high failure rate, especially the early attempts. Roughly sixty percent of all spacecraft destined for Mars failed before completing their missions and some failed before their observations could begin. Some missions have met with unexpected success, such as the twin Mars Exploration Rovers, which operated for years beyond their specification.
Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) is a robotic space probe mission to Mars launched by NASA on November 26, 2011, which successfully landed Curiosity, a Mars rover, in Gale Crater on August 6, 2012. The overall objectives include investigating Mars' habitability, studying its climate and geology, and collecting data for a manned mission to Mars. The rover carries a variety of scientific instruments designed by an international team.
Timeline for the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) lists the significant events of the launch, aerobraking, and transition phases as well as subsequent significant operational mission events; by date and brief description.
A marsquake is a theoretical quake which, much like an earthquake, would be a shaking of the surface or interior of the planet Mars as a result of the sudden release of energy in the planet's interior, such as the result of plate tectonics, which most quakes on Earth originate from, or possibly from hotspots such as Olympus Mons or the Tharsis Montes. The detection and analysis of marsquakes could be informative to probing the interior structure of Mars, as well as identifying whether any of Mars's many volcanoes continue to be volcanically active or not.
A space probe is a robotic spacecraft that does not orbit Earth, but instead, explores further into outer space. A space probe may approach the Moon; travel through interplanetary space; flyby, orbit, or land on other planetary bodies; or enter interstellar space.
A Mars landing is a landing of a spacecraft on the surface of Mars. Of multiple attempted Mars landings by robotic, unmanned spacecraft, eight have been successful. There have also been studies for a possible human mission to Mars, including a landing, but none have been attempted. The most recent landing took place on November 26, 2018 by the NASA probe InSight.
Europa Clipper is an interplanetary mission in development by NASA comprising an orbiter. Set for a launch in June 2023, the spacecraft is being developed to study the Galilean moon Europa through a series of flybys while in orbit around Jupiter.
Mars Cube One was a Mars flyby mission launched on 5 May 2018 alongside NASA's InSight Mars lander mission. It consisted of two nanospacecraft, MarCO-A and MarCO-B, that provided a real-time communications link to Earth for InSight during its entry, descent, and landing (EDL) on 26 November 2018 - when InSight was out of line of sight from the Earth. Both spacecraft were 6U CubeSats, and the mission was a test of new miniaturized communications and navigation technologies. These were the first CubeSats to operate beyond Earth orbit, and aside from telecommunications they also tested CubeSats' endurance in deep space. On 5 February 2019, NASA reported that the CubeSats went silent, and are unlikely to be heard from again.
The Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package (HP3) is a science instrument onboard the InSight lander that features a self-penetrating probe to determine how heat flows inside Mars. InSight landed on Mars on 26 November, 2018. In March 2019, it successfully burrowed a short distance into Mars subsurface, but encountered resistance.
Farah Alibay is a Canadian Systems Engineer at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory on the Mars InSight mission.
Temperature and Winds for InSight (TWINS) is a meteorological suite of instruments on board the InSight lander that landed on Mars on 26 November 2018. TWINS will provide continuous wind and air temperature measurements to help understand the seismic data from the SEIS instrument. The instruments were developed by the Spanish Astrobiology Center at Madrid, Spain.
Jubilant NASA engineers cheered Monday as the $828 million InSight lander signaled a safe landing on Mars ...
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