“Seven minutes of terror”: “insight” is ready to land on Mars

“Seven minutes of terror”: “insight” is ready to land on Mars

On Monday evening, around 20:00 GMT (23:00 GMT) Mars will land “insight” — the next, already the ninth NASA mission to the red planet’s surface.


The device, launched to the air base “Vandenberg” in California on may 5, will be included in the sparse Martian atmosphere, turning the planet heat screen (it still need to the case, if you have sit through a dust storm), and then start to slow down, releasing parachutes.

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A soft landing should provide participating immediately prior to landing 12 of the reversing of the engines is about the same in 2008, NASA engineers were put on the Mars mission “Phoenix”.

Like other devices that tried to land on Mars before, “Insight” will experience “seven minutes of terror” — during this time, he needs to slow down from supersonic (the planet’s atmosphere the unit will go six times faster than a bullet) it is a pleasure to gently to make a soft landing.

“Insight” down on the plain, located just South of the Elysium volcanic plateau. A little further South in the same region is the Gale crater, which is now investigating the Mars Rover “Curiosity” to him for about 600 km.

However, the plain of Elysium for planting the device chose not to because of topography. “Insight” will examine not the surface of Mars, its internal structure — the temperature of the subsoil and seismic activity.

For this it was necessary to find the most flat area where the camera could “spread out” around itself, measuring devices and remain stationary throughout its mission, while receiving enough solar energy.