ETFs to Consider as NASA's Insight Blasts off to Mars

Audrey Hill
May 5, 2018

Besides testing the cubes' maneuvering system, NASA wants to see if WALL-E and EVE can transmit data to Earth from InSight during its descent to Mars. "And that is precisely what we need".

"It's a lander, not a rover, and it will deploy a variety of instruments down onto the ground".

The InSight probe, a stationary lander, will be blasted toward the Red Planet by a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. A quake-measuring seismometer, meanwhile, will be removed from the lander by a mechanical arm and placed directly on the surface for better vibration monitoring. Results from the sensor should give an indication of how energy from within the planet drives changes on the surface. If a meteor impacts Mars during the mission's two year primary mission, SEIS could detect it as it rings the planet like a bell. But scientists are hoping for more besides.

Previous Mars missions have focused on surface or close-to-the-surface rocks and mineral. Phoenix, for instance, dug just several inches down for samples. "Small spacecraft provide an ability to get out there with a focused science question before we send something much larger", Klesh says.

This weekend, NASA is launching a machine created to study Mars at a much more fundamental level, helping to fill large gaps in scientists' understanding of the planet's geologic structure, composition and seismic activity.

InSight, which stands for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport, will be NASA's first mission to peer deep within the interior of Mars with a suite of instruments created to give the planet a thorough check-up from the inside out. One mystery is why Mars, a planet less dense and half the width of Earth, did not grow any larger.

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The launch will be the first NASA interplanetary mission from the US West Coast. "We can then extrapolate that to Earth, Venus and even planets beyond the solar system".

Once launched, InSight will travel for about six months to get to Mars, and is scheduled to set down on the surface on November 26 assuming it launches tomorrow.

Getting a Mars mission flying requires a great many milestones. The planet is never an easy destination and only about 40% of missions from any space agency have been successful.

InSight is scheduled to lift off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in on California's Central Coast as early as 4:05 a.m. For example, next year's unmanned launch of NASA's Orion crew vehicle will also carry CubeSats that use elements developed by the MarCO project.

InSight's launch period is from May 5 to June 8, 2018, with multiple launch opportunities across windows of approximately two hours every day.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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