July 18, 2024

Solid State Lighting Design

Find latest world news and headlines today based on politics, crime, entertainment, sports, lifestyle, technology and many more

The NASA InSight Mars Mission has ended after 4 years of listening to Martian earthquakes

The NASA InSight Mars Mission has ended after 4 years of listening to Martian earthquakes

NASA’s Mars InSight spacecraft is dead.

For months, task managers have been anticipating this Dust also accumulated on the lander’s solar panels, blocking the sunlight that the stationary spacecraft needs to generate power.

Insight, which He reached the surface of Mars more than four years ago Measuring the seismic vibration of the Red PlanetLast call was on December 15th. But nothing was heard during the last two contact attempts, and NASA announced Wednesday that it is unlikely to hear from InSight again.

“I feel sad, but I also feel very good,” Bruce Banerdt, the mission’s principal investigator at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said in an interview. “We’ve been expecting this to be over for some time.”

He added, “I think it was an amazing tour.”

InSight—the name is an abbreviation of the full name of the mission, Interior Exploration Using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy, and Heat Transport—was a diversion from NASA’s well-known probe missions, focusing on Mysteries of the deep interior of Mars instead of searching for water signs And the Possibly extinct life on the red planet. The $830 million mission aims to answer questions about the planet’s structure, composition, and geological history.

Mars lacks plate tectonics, the sliding pieces of crust that make up our planet’s surface. But earthquakes do happen nonetheless, driven by other stresses such as shrinking and cracking of the crust as it cools.

The mission’s final year proved particularly eventful, as its instruments were discovered Vibrations from a large space rock, with a diameter of 15 to 40 feet, and struck Mars within 2,000 miles of the spacecraft on Christmas Eve last year. Then, NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter was able to image the fresh crater and pieces of underground ice that were blasted to the surface by the impact. This ice discovery was closer to the equator than any previous discovery, a potential resource for future astronauts.

See also  Stunning image of phantom galaxy heart displaying the power of Webb

In May, InSight measured a 4.7-magnitude swamp, the largest on the mission.

The spacecraft’s seismometer met scientists’ expectations. This was the first time that earthquakes had been detected on another planet. (However, this was not the first detection of earthquakes outside Earth. During the Apollo missions, NASA astronauts left seismometers on the Moon, and they recorded many moonquakes.)

Seismic waves bouncing around the interior of Mars essentially provided an acoustic picture of the planet, providing new details about the crust, mantle and core.

This was the largest result of the mission, Dr. Banerdt said, “for deep mapping of the planet.”

The crust below InSight turned out to be thinner than expected, about 15 to 25 miles thick. The Red Planet’s core is still molten, which is somewhat of a surprise to scientists because Mars is much younger than Earth. The core is also larger than expected — 1,120 miles in diameter — and less dense than expected, suggesting lighter elements mixed with iron. These elements will lower the melting point, which may help explain why the core is not solidified.

The geological structure helps scientists understand how quickly heat escapes from Mars, which in turn helps them reconstruct what the surface was like several billion years ago, and how habitable the surface might have been at that time.

“We’ve broken new ground, and our science team can be proud of all that we’ve learned along the way,” said Philippe Lejeune of the Institute of World Physics in Paris, principal investigator for the InSight seismometer, in a NASA statement.

See also  A "bright light" flashes across the sky as the meteor crashes around Townsville

However, the second tool, which was designed to dig 16 feet underground, was unable to go far below the surface, as unexpectedly lumpy soil thwarted it. The device, dubbed the “Mole,” was measuring heat flow coming from the Martian interior.

“That was a huge disappointment,” said Dr. Banerdt.

Other instruments on InSight have measured Martian weather and remnants of an ancient magnetic field preserved in rocks.

It’s still possible for InSight to come back to life, Dr. Banerdt said, especially if one of the tiny dust tornadoes that glide across the Martian landscape passes over the spacecraft and cleans up the dust.

If the solar panels can charge the batteries, InSight will attempt to restart and try to connect again. Radio transmissions from revived InSight could appear as interference with communications sent from other NASA spacecraft at Mars.

“If we start to see this signal consistently, that would tell us that InSight may be back in business,” said Dr. Banerdt.

As the InSight program draws to a close, one of NASA’s other active Mars rover, the Perseverance rover, is paving the way for a future mission. He. She 10 tubes began to fall to the ground It contains rock samples the size of a chalk stick.

Perseverance was Drill a variety of rocks In Jezero Crater where you landed. A follow-up mission still in the planning stages, Mars Sample Return, is to return the rocks to Earth for scientists study in their laboratories.

The rover is still carrying other tubes—for rocks drilled so far, two samples have been drilled—and the plan is for the rover to bring the sample tubes to the Mars Sample Lander.

See also  A NASA astronaut and two astronauts return from the International Space Station

The samples being dropped on Earth now are essentially a backup in case something goes wrong with Perseverance before the Mars sample return probe gets there. In this case, the plan would be for the probe to descend near and after the samples that Perseverance has already dropped Helicopters, similar to the creation of Marscopter that currently accompanies the rover, will retrieve samples.