AFP / Tampa, USA
NASA is in the Mars landing on Monday on the Mars InSight probe, which costs $ 993 million, and which is the first one capable of hearing earthquakes and studying the interior of a rocky planet.
The unmanned spacecraft was launched nearly seven months ago and traveled about 482 million kilometers. Part of his mission is to report on the efforts to send some human explorers to the red planet, something NASA hopes to achieve during the decade of 2030.
This landing on Mars is the first of 2012 when NASA's Curiosity Experiment surfaced and analyzed the rocks for signs of life that may have dwelt the planet to Earth, which is now miserable and dry.
InSight must experience the difficult entry into the atmosphere of the red planet, travel at a speed of 19,800 kilometers per hour and quickly reduce the speed to eight kilometers per hour.
The entry, descent and landing phase begins at 7:47 GMT on Monday. Half the joke, NASA refers to this stage as six and a half minutes of terror.
Of the 43 missions fired to Mars, only 18 have reached the red planet, a success of about 40%, and all come from the United States. Going to Mars is very, very difficult, said Thomas Zurbuheen, an associate administrator of the NASA Missions Directorate.
The most exciting part is that we build the successes of the best teams that have ever landed on this planet – the NASA team with their performers and their collaborators.
The name InSight comes from an interior survey through seismic surveying, geodesy and heat transfer. The spacecraft stops about one meter, and after the solar panels are deployed it will reach almost six meters.
With the full load of fuel, InSight weighs more than 360 kg, almost the same as the Harley Davidson motorcycle. Its central instrument is a seismometer for earthquake detection by the French Space Agency (CNES). This is the only mission that is conceived around a foreign production tool, "said Jean-Ive Le Gal, president of CNES.