The United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket launched an InSight lander designed to study the internal structure of Mars. It is assumed that he will sit on the surface of the planet at the end of November 2018 and will conduct research for several years, including drill a five-meter well in the Martian soil. In addition to InSight, two satellites of mission Mars Cube One set off for Mars, which will fly past the planet. The broadcast of the launch was conducted on the NASA website.
The main goal of the InSight mission, developed by NASA specialists, is to study the internal structure and geological processes of Mars. The mission is equipped with several scientific instruments. Interestingly, the two main devices will not work on the landing platform, but next to it. To do this, InSight has a robotic manipulator length of 2.4 meters, which will transfer instruments to the surrounding Martian soil. One of these tools is the seismometer SEIS, which will measure the tectonic activity of the planet, as well as record the incidence of meteorites. The second external device InSight – electromechanical drill HP 3, capable of creating in the Martian soil a well depth of five meters. A tape is fixed on the borer, on each ten centimeters of which there are temperature sensors. Due to this, scientists will be able to establish the temperature profile of the soil and conduct other measurements, including those relating to the composition of the soil.
In addition to external tools InSight several instruments are fixed directly on the landing platform. Among them, a radio sensor for determining the core parameters of the planet, a TWINS tool for determining weather and environmental parameters, two cameras and a laser rangefinder for orbital vehicles. About how the scientific instruments InSight and other details of the mission will be read in our material “Look inside the Red Planet” .The landing gear and two Mars Cube One satellites traveled to Mars on an Atlas V rocket from the US aerospace company United Launch Alliance. On May 5 in 14:05Moscow time the rocket started from the Vandenberg base of the US Air Force. Landing of the main vehicle is scheduled for November 26, 2018. At first the device will enter the Martian atmosphere and will brake with the help of a parachute. At the last stage of the descent, the device will drop the parachute and land on the surface with its own engines. According to calculations, he must land on the Elysium Highlands in an area measuring 130 by 27 kilometers. Two Mars Cube One satellites will not land on Mars and fly past the planet. They will accompany the landing of the main vehicle and relay its signals to ground stations.
Recently another Martian device Trace Gas Orbiter entered its working orbit around the planet and began transmitting images of its surface to Earth. Together with him, in 2016, the landing gear of Schiaparelli went to Mars, but he could not make a soft landing and crashed to the surface at high speed due to the fact that the landing engines had worked only a few seconds.