At 5:05 am U.S. Pacific time (19:05 GMT), NASA's latest Mars Probe (InSight) was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, USA. More than an hour later, the separation of stars and arrows occurred. Success, everything went smoothly and the launch was a complete success.
According to statistics, this is the first time that NASA has deployed a deep space probe at the Vanderbilburg Air Force Base in California on the West Coast. This was previously in our “Canberra Point, Florida,” which is familiar to us. The reason for this is that the Atlas V rocket thrust carrying the Insights number is twice as much as the rocket originally used 3 years ago, which means there is no need to ask the Earth for leverage.
It is expected that on November 26th this year, the INSIGHT will land on the northern hemisphere of Mars. It will carry three major equipment including SEIS, heat flow and physics property detection suite (HP3), rotation and internal structure. The RISE instrument, which collects data related to Mars' shells, plutonium and nucleus, is an in-depth exploration of the internal geological structure of Mars.
An interesting detail is that in addition to InSight, the rocket launch mission also sent two small satellite CubeSats. They are often used for near-Earth orbit missions. This time they will be responsible for the data transfer and transmission missions between the Insights and Earth, as well as the verification of geo-fire communication parameters.
1. For the first time "in-depth Mars" & rdquo;
The human understanding of Mars is "superficial". NASA's "Curry" and "Glory" & "Mars Rover took a lot of photos on the surface of Mars. " Curiosity ” also collected some samples for later analysis. " Curiosity ” can also drill, but can only drill holes in the top surface of Mars. In addition, the spacecraft conducted a large amount of research on Mars over the sky, photographed many high-resolution photos of the surface of Mars, and conducted research on the Martian atmosphere.
"The goal of the "opportunity number" is not on "Marching" on Mars, but rather "in situ" not moving. This allows it to accurately understand the internal conditions of Mars, including (by the Martian earthquake and meteorite impact) seismic activity, and (by analyzing the understanding of the shaking) of Mars "geodes" size and shape. “Inspection ”'s name——Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport——disclosed its main task.
2. Help us understand other planets
The Kepler telescope shows us that terrestrial planets (earth or slightly larger "super-Earth") are very common in the universe. Because they are too distant from the earth, it is very difficult to study them. Therefore, studying Mars will help us to predict the composition and atmosphere of these terrestrial planets. Even in our solar system, studying terrestrial planets helps us understand why they are different. For example, why is there a lot of water on Earth and the water on Mars has disappeared?
NASA stated in a statement that "in the rocky planets, the only planet we have studied carefully is Earth. By comparing the Earth with the interior of Mars, the ‘Assessment Number’ team hopes to better understand the solar system. Their understanding may help us to search for exoplanets that are similar to the Earth and to narrow the range of planets that may have extraterrestrial life. So while the ‘insight number’ is a Mars mission, it is not just a Mars mission. ”
3, “ Insights ” may find Mars earthquake
As mentioned above, one of the goals of the "inspection number" is to detect the Martian seismic or seismic activity. There have been other tasks before the same work, but unfortunately they all returned. In 1976, NASA launched two spacecrafts on the surface of Mars; — Vikings No. 1 and No. 2. They also carry seismographs, but the seismographs are on top of the spacecraft. As the seismographs sway in the wind, their data is not very reliable.
Earth's earthquakes are mainly caused by the movement of the crustal plates, but scientists predict that on Mars, the earthquakes will be triggered mainly by volcanoes, cracks in the crust, and meteorite impacts. NASA stated that each Martian shock can reveal the internal structure of Mars. By studying how seismic waves pass through different layers of the planet (crust, mantle and core), scientists can infer the depth and composition of different layers. In this sense, the earthquake is equivalent to shooting an X-ray film for Mars.
4. The NASA Antenna will track the "inspection number" on the Mars from Earth.
The "information number" will regularly report its location to NASA's "Deep Space Network", a series of giant antennas that communicate with the spacecraft in the solar system. “ Insights ” Positional data accuracy will reach the inch or centimeter level.
NASA stated that "scientists will use the information collected during the mission of the "inspection number" to understand how much Mars is shaking in its orbit. This is critical for determining the size of Mars & Earth's core & rsquo; size, and whether it is liquid or solid. ”
5, "Inspection No." will reveal the relationship between Mars and Earth.
Although scientific research shows that Earth, Moon, and Mars are made up of the same type of material, only detailed research can prove the truth of this hypothesis. The "intelligence number" temperature probe will penetrate 16 feet (5 meters) below the surface of Mars ——the purpose is to avoid being affected by the temperature of the season. Each drill down 1.5 feet (50 centimeters), it will send a temperature pulse, and the sensor will then examine the temperature pulse changes.
NASA said, "If the Martian crust component is a good conductor of heat, such as metal, the pulse will decay rapidly. If the Martian crust component is a poor conductor of heat, such as glass, the pulse decays slowly. This tells scientists that as the depth deepens, how fast the temperature rises, and how heat flows inside Mars. ”
6,"Inspection No." is the first spacecraft launched from the west coast of the United States.
NASA has repeatedly launched spacecraft to Mars, but they have all taken off from Florida. According to NASA, one important reason is that launching from the East Coast makes it easier for spacecraft to reach other planets. But the "information number" launch site is at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, because it will take the more powerful Atlas V-401 rocket & mdash; — even if launched from the west coast The spacecraft was sent to Mars — —
NASA stated that "Vandenberg Air Base" was selected because of its higher availability in the launch window (from May 5 to early June). ”
7. Two Cube Satellites and "Inspection Numbers" go hand in hand
On the way to Mars, the "Inspection No." is not lonely, there are two nicknames "Wall-E”" and "Eve" peers with it. Their official name is "Mars Cube One", a cube satellite that can perform relatively simple tasks such as communication or observing the Earth with a small telescope.
Mars Cube One's goal is to transmit the data related to it during the landing on Mars. This helps us to learn more about how the spacecraft lands on Mars, which is very important because the spacecraft's landing on Mars always presents various minor problems.
8, may reveal the mystery of the Mars volcano
There are some very large volcanoes on Mars, especially Olympus & mdash;— 16 miles (25 kilometers) high, which is 3 times that of Mount Everest. It is part of the Talsis volcano plateau. According to NASA, the heat inside Mars has an impact on the formation of the Olympus volcano.
According to NASA, the temperature probe of the Insights ’ can penetrate depths of 16 feet (5 meters) below the surface of Mars, measuring the heat flow inside Mars for the first time. Combining the heat flow rate with other data obtained by the ‘inspection numbers’ will reveal the relationship between changes in the surface of Mars and internal energy. ”
9, using Mars as a time machine
Earth and Venus & mdash;—the other two terrestrial planets in the solar system——construction is quite active, and many of the past"marks"have been destroyed. Mars is not the same. According to NASA, the surface of Mars has not changed much from 3 billion years ago.
According to NASA, because Mars is only about one-third the size of the Earth and Venus, it contains less energy to change the structure of the planet. This makes it a fossil planet in many ways and holds a lot of solar system secrets. . ”
10, “ Insights ” The data will “ Eternal ”
"The Insights" design life is a Martian year (two Earth years) to track the changes in the interior of Mars during the "season" period. Many people believe that when a task is over, the related research work is all over. In fact, researchers can archive data for future research.
The "information number" data can be applied to the earth tectonic plates, exoplanets and other fields. Scientists can conduct further research on their data in the future if they have better tools available.