On Monday November 26, 2018 a next big step in solar system exploration will happen. New robotic probe will land on Mars.
Everything has started a six months ago, when mission InSight was launched. After traveling a millions of kilometers through the Solar System, will InSight arrive at Mars in a really dramatic way – it will hit the top of the Mars’ atmosphere at 19 794.9312 kilometers per hour. This will happen shortly before actual landing. The following few minutes of terror will happen and then it will come. All of us will be waiting for the first signals from Mars. But for now we will be expecting this from a new martian robotic inhabitant – from InSight
There are several ways how to watch the InSight mission landing. The direct live stream from NASA JPL Mission Control you can watch here:
[Please note the video above will be replaced by live stream on Monday].
The other possibilities to watch online you can find on official web pages of NASA here.
The most important website is: www.nasa.gov/live
You can also find the nearest place to your location, where you can join the landing party. If you have an opportunity, I can strongly recommend you to join. Landing on Mars is awesome and it really does not occur such often. NASA has on their web pages a list of places where you can find the nearest landing party to your location.
Of course, you can say that also other previous missions are special in something. But this probe, will take a look inside the planet Mars. Literally.
InSight is a robotic lander designed to study the interior of the planet Mars. The mission is managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for NASA. The lander was manufactured by Lockheed Martin Space Systems. The name InSight comes from the long form Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport.
InSight‘s mission objective is to place a stationary lander equipped with a seismometer called SEIS produced by the French space agency CNES, and measure heat transfer with a heat probe called HP3 produced by the German space agency DLR to study the planet’s early geological evolution. This could bring new understanding of the Solar System’s terrestrial planets — Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars — and the Earth’s Moon.
Watch the mission briefing recording from November 21, 2018
Launch: May 5, 2018
Landing: at 20:53 CET on 26 November 2018
Landing location: Elysium Planitia 4.5°N 135.0°E, Mars
Mission: Study the interior and subsurface of Mars
COSPAR ID: 2018-042A
Other description of the mission: Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport Geophysical Monitoring Station
Mission includes also two small cubesats called MarCO. “The Mars Cube One” (MarCO) spacecraft, a set of two 6U CubeSats. These are “flying on a back” of the InSight main probe and their task is to help relay communications during the probe’s entry, descent and landing phase. MarCO is a technology capability demonstration of communications relay system. These cubesats are the first interplanetary cubesats
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Sources:Wikipedia, NASA JPL, My own resources.