Wednesday , November 25 2020

One mole pulls the red planet TIME ONLINE



How does Mars look inside? How big is the core of the planet? How is he? To date, there are no answers to these questions. The Insight probe, led by the US space agency NASA, is now tasked with providing new insights and, incidentally, breaking a record. This evening, at 20:54 German time, the device must land on the Red Planet, stay in place, and dig for months on the Earth's surface. In this way, the researchers want to better understand how the rocky planets formed in the solar system four billion years ago, and why they developed so differently.

If all goes according to plan. Concern: In the history of international missions to Mars, more than one of them failed. Hope: Nobody knows better to land on the Red Planet than the Americans. From the 20-hour German time, he gives NASA the landing here live.

To create "in the largest parking lot on Mars". At least, the government described the landing area in the Elysium Planitia Plain to the southwest of the large Elysium volcanic complex. Which is surprising: There is absolutely nothing to be seen there – so far it was necessary to look at the possible special structures nearby. But where there is hardly any larger stones or rocks without slopes and no sinks, the landing robot is most likely to stop safely. The Insight will be 550 kilometers from Curiosity Landing, about 2,600 kilometers from Spirit and 8,400 kilometers from Opportunity.

Not very, very sunny: Zone in the Elysium Plane Plan is considered a suitable landing place. The blue and green areas in this map are low-lying, yellow and red high terrain.
© NASA / JPL / USGS (MOLA)

From early January, one wants to create the deepest, ever-artificial technology, a hole in another heavenly body, "the German Aerospace Center (DLR) press release said. Means: you want to dig deep up to five meters. Significantly responsible for record drilling should be HP3, developed by DLR staff A package of thermal flows and physical properties, because of his skills, also called "Mole".

Hammering is at least until March 2019

The device struck 50 centimeters in the rock, then stopped according to DLR. So the measurements can be made and the devices monitored before they go best 50 centimeters deeper. The probe uses a fully automated, electrically driven mechanism and hits a flat cable fitted with measuring sensors behind it in the Martian soil, he continues. In cooperation with other newly developed devices, it will measure the internal temperature and use a seismometer to record earthquakes, meteor effects and all other movements that shake Mars.

Good old acquaintances help transfer the collected information to Earth. The Mars Reconstitution Orbiter and Mars Odyssey 2001 fly twice a day on the landing site and serve as relay stations, radio stations for data traffic.

"Because we do not know what surprises – for example, because of harder rocks – we are expecting in the underworld, we continue very carefully and plan to reach the target within a few weeks until March 2019," said Tilman Spohn of the DLR Institute for Planetary Research in Berlin .

Since Insight not only breaks through but also answers many scientific questions (how tall is Marsher, what is it, whether it's liquid or solid, how thick is the bark, how active is Mars, how often do the meteors hit?), The mission has two Earth years in total. One billion dollars, equivalent to about 880 million euros, have spent the responsible people so far.


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