NASA’s Mars InSight lander landed on Mars on September 28, 2016, and has been a dust devil ever since. The mission has detected more than 1,300 marsquakes and has failed to dig into the Martian surface. What does this mean for the future of human exploration on Mars? Here are some questions to ask as we watch the mission unfold. Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below! And thanks for reading! The mission has been a remarkable success, but what will be next?
NASA’s InSight lander landed on Mars on September 28, 2016
The InSight lander landed on Mars for the first time on September 28, 2016. The mission’s primary goal is to understand the processes of planet formation. It is equipped with instruments designed to collect data about the planet’s internal heat flow and seismic activity. These tools will help scientists understand how terrestrial planets formed and how the moon formed. In addition, scientists hope the mission will provide more details about the composition of the Martian atmosphere.
The InSight mission is due to launch on March 16, 2016, and is expected to land on Mars on September 28, 2016. InSight will use the proven technologies of NASA’s Mars Phoenix mission to send a lander to the surface of Mars. Once the lander reaches Mars, it will use a drill to explore the planet’s interior for two years. NASA hopes to use the data gathered by the mission to better understand the processes responsible for the formation and evolution of all rocky planets.
The mission is a collaboration between NASA and several other research organizations. The Phoenix Mars lander was launched in 2007 and studied ground ice near the north pole. The Phoenix design was developed by Lockheed-Martin Space Systems, a Denver, CO aerospace company. The reuse of these technologies will provide NASA with a low-risk path to Mars, eliminating the need for testing new systems.
The findings of the InSight mission have implications for thousands of exoplanets orbiting other stars. Some of them may even be similar to Earth or Mars. Researchers will need to know more about these planets in order to determine the size and shape of Mars’ surface. And the InSight mission is just the beginning. The mission will take years to complete. While there are still many questions to be answered, the InSight mission will help in that effort.
It has been a dust devil ever since
A Mars Dust Devil has been observed by several spacecraft. Since the Viking Orbiters’ first look at the Martian surface in the 1970s, several other missions have observed dust devils. But Perseverance’s observations, with the help of its new Mastcam-Z camera, seem to stand out. Its high-resolution images provide the first direct observations of a Mars Dust Devil.
InSight’s weather sensors detected a sharp drop in air pressure and an increase in wind speed. Those measurements confirmed that a dust devil had passed overhead. It also detected a sudden change in wind direction. The dust devil’s wind speed was at its highest and the solar panels were generating less electricity. NASA says this data will help with designing future solar-powered missions and wind-sculpting on Mars.
The Perseverance rover is currently on Mars and has observed hundreds of vigourous dust devils. This dynamic dusty world suggests that the planet once had water. The InSight team believes that water once existed on Mars. If so, what is the source of the dust? It is uncertain but evidence suggests that Martian soil was once flooded. And perhaps the ancient life on Mars could still be found in this dry and dusty world.
The Perseverance rover has been monitoring the atmosphere around the rover for about three weeks now. Scientists have detected dust whirlwinds several times daily, and the rover seems to be in a “dust storm track” that runs north-south across Mars. Dust devils have also been detected by Perseverance, which was able to record the first video of a massive Martian dust cloud.
It has detected more than 1,300 marsquakes
The InSight lander has a seismometer that has detected more than 1,300 marsquakes since the lander was launched in November 2018. In October, it registered its biggest tremor on another planet, a magnitude 5 quake on the 1,222nd Martian day of its mission. The instrument detects seismic waves passing through the Martian atmosphere. While a marsquake of this size is not very common, scientists are interested in the phenomenon for many reasons.
NASA’s InSight Mars lander landed on the red planet in November, and has been gathering data ever since. This information is helping scientists better understand the interior of Mars. One of the missions’ goals was to measure the frequency and magnitude of marsquakes, and it has been a huge success. The lander has successfully detected marsquakes, as well as meteor impacts, dust storms, and other kinds of vibration. But it is still not done.
NASA’s InSight spacecraft is now losing power due to dust on its solar panels, but it will continue to monitor the planet and use the seismometer to register marsquakes until the power goes out. The mission will continue until the end of the year. InSight has detected more than 1,300 marsquakes since landing on Mars last year. The biggest marsquake measured magnitude 5.
The InSight lander is now in its final phase. The mission’s primary objective is to understand Mars’ formation and its structure. Scientists have used the data collected by InSight to measure the depth and composition of the planet. As a result, InSight has gathered invaluable weather data and investigated the soil beneath the lander. It has also detected the remains of an ancient magnetic field on Mars.
It has failed to dig into the Martian surface
For nearly two years, NASA’s InSight lander has tried to drill a mole into the surface of Mars. The probe has been unable to do so because of difficulties digging the probe deep into the Martian surface. The problem is not limited to the mole itself. Scientists are putting their minds to other problems, such as how the surface of Mars will be affected by the next Martian meteor shower.
The HP3 probe was designed to probe the interior of the planet by digging five meters underground. Scientists hoped to use this information to understand its geology and internal thermal activity. The probe is still collecting data, however. This is known as the Mole Saga and is expected to remain on Mars for years to come. It has failed to dig deeply enough to give accurate readings. Honeybee Robotics and Texas Tech University are working on a similar instrument for the moon. The mission will be launched by NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services initiative.
The first attempt was successful, but not far enough. The soil on Mars is less frictional, which means it requires more hammer strokes to push the mole into the surface. The ground crews used the robotic arm to push the probe on the left side of the mole, which reduced friction and allowed the hammer to reach deeper into the soil. This method worked for a short while, but the mole was unable to drill into the surface.
While HP3’s mole has not been successful in digging deep enough to begin scientific operations, the lander’s self-hammering probe is still capable of digging deeper. Engineers are working to troubleshoot the problem, but the results so far are promising. The team has been unable to find the problem yet, but they are confident that future missions will be successful. It is hoped that the future landers will be able to dig deeper into the surface and access subsurface ice deposits.
It will remain a dust devil until solar conjunction on Sept. 29
Until solar conjunction on Sept. 29, Mars will be a dust devil until it reaches its closest approach to Earth. Its appearance will be primarily red. Red light will also show the dust and the polar cap brighter than green light will. Green light will make it darker and the dust on Mars will be darker. The Mars polar cap will also be brighter during this period.
The InSight lander, which is stationary, will continue to listen for marsquakes. Meanwhile, NASA orbiters and surface missions will continue collecting data and observations. Scientists expect a limited amount of data to come back during the solar conjunction. The vast majority of the data will not be distributed until after the event. Until then, NASA will focus its limited resources on other projects.
Dust devils are formed when the sun heats the surface of Mars and the atmosphere closest to it. As warm air rises, it whisks dust up from the surface, creating dust clouds that are as tall as eight kilometers in height. Phoenix has photographed dust devils before, but the science team was surprised to see them during the past two months. A dust devil is much like a gentle tornado. It’s not unusual for dust devils to pass through spacecraft.
When Mars comes near Earth, it appears in the sky as a red dust devil. This is because the planets are opposite sides of the sun and Earth can’t see each other. NASA is not able to see each other’s shadows during this time. Because of this, complex science operations are useless. As a result, NASA will pause sending commands to spacecraft on Mars until October 16.