The mission of the device is designed to study the internal structure and composition of Mars – for this InSight is equipped with a seismometer. The program cost the space agency $ 480 million, and the mission itself is designed for 720 days – InSight will study the internal structure of Mars, registering the subsurface jolts.
6 minutes – so much time it will take InSight to conduct a series of complex actions independently, without communication with the Earth. The device weighing 350 kilograms will enter the atmosphere of the Red Planet at an angle of 12 ° at a speed of almost 20 thousand km / h. In the first two minutes, it will drop to 1.5 thousand km / h, and the temperature of the instrument panel will rise to 1000 ° C.
At an altitude of about 16 kilometers, the device will open a parachute with a diameter of about 11.9 meters and throw off its protective panel, and in ten seconds should release landing pads on which it will land. Later, InSight will turn on the radar signals and begin to determine its own position, controlling the landing speed.
One and a half kilometer before contact with the surface of Mars will drop the parachute and turn on 12 engines that will help it to slow down to a speed of about 8 km / h. Immediately after landing, 16 minutes should pass in order for the dust to disperse around the landing area, and then the rover could send a NASA signal, reporting on a successful landing. Another 16 minutes will take the process of opening the solar panels.
InSight is scheduled to land in the Elysium Planitia Highlands , the second largest (after the province of Farsis) in the volcanic region of Mars. From the landing site will be visible Mount Elysium (Elysium Mons) – one of the largest in the solar system. Its height is 16 kilometers.