NASA sets sights on May 5 launch of InSight Mars Mission

NASA sets sights on May 5 launch of InSight Mars Mission

Scientists are ready to examine the core of Mars through Insight.

The desire of knowing more and continuous increment in the hostility of Earth’s climate urge humans to find an alternate habitat for their coming generations. The red planet of our solar system is the most likely option and a lot of space agencies are investing time and money to accomplish this feat.

The efforts of the CEO of SpaceX, Elon Musk, needs to be appreciated in this regard as he has made it his foremost priority and wants to send a manned mission to Mars in 2024. A lot of missions have been sent to the red planet with the intentions of learning more and more about it before launching a manned venture. NASA is working in collaboration with SpaceX and their next mission clearly reflects the eagerness to explore the Mars.

All the previous data gathered about this planet includes information about the surface or the atmosphere. The mission which is being monitored by Jet Propulsion Laboratory of NASA is called Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy, and Heat Transport (InSight). It will be the first-ever mission that will explore the heart of Mars. It is scheduled to launch from Vandenberg’s Air Force Base in Central California on 5th of May. According to the estimate of the scientists, it will reach Mars on 26th November after completing a journey of nearly 7 months. An Atlas V rocket is being used to launch it on its path.

NASA announced this historic launch by explaining the potential benefits it can bring to the mankind. An interesting thing is that this mission was initially expected to hit the space in March 2016 but a vacuum leak in the prime science instrument of the spacecraft delayed its launch. They also mentioned the techniques that will be used to analyze the deep crust of Mars in order to understand how planets were formed. A representative of NASA expressed all that in the following words:

InSight will be the first mission to peer deep beneath the Martian surface, studying the planet’s interior by measuring its heat output and listening for marsquakes, which are seismic events similar to earthquakes on Earth. It will use the seismic waves generated by marsquakes to develop a map of the planet’s deep interior. The resulting insight into Mars’ formation will help us better understand how other rocky planets, including Earth, were and are created.”

InSight is not the only thing on this rocket as this flight is under the United Launch Alliance (ULA). It is accompanied by another technology experiment which is known as Mars Cube One (MarCO). This also holds a lot of significance as it will be the first test of CubeSat Technology in space. Two mini-spacecraft might assist the InSight communications as they will test the navigation and communication abilities for future missions. The success of this mission is extremely critical for achieving the future goals of NASA and other space agencies. Some important ones among them are Mars Rover in 2020 and unmanned cargo missions to Mars through BFR rocket system in 2022.

A lot of expectations are associated with this launch and this can be judged by a simple fact that the coverage of all the prelaunch activities will begin at 4 pm on Thursday, 3rd May. A lot of high-profile people will attend the prelaunch briefing including Jim Green (a Chief Scientist at NASA), Bruce Banerdt (the Principal Investigator of InSight at Jet Propulsion Laboratory of NASA) and Tilman Spohn (the Investigation Lead for the Heat Flow and Physical Properties Probe (HP3) at the German Aerospace Center).

According to reports, the coverage of the launch will begin at 6 30 am on Saturday. A lot of national and international media will attend the event. The general public can also contribute by using #askNASA where they can ask questions on social media. NASA has also arranged for two official viewing sites where people can come and experience this outstanding launch. The spacecraft will commence its journey at five minutes past seven. A lot of space ventures are dependent on this mission and researchers are hoping that it will open new dimensions of research for the mankind.

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