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Sedentary science allows InSight to detect geophysical signals deep below the surface of Mars
You do not need wheels to explore Mars. After launching in November, NASA's InSight spacecraft will deploy its solar panels, deploy a robotic arm … and stay. Unlike the rovers of the space agency, InSight is a lander designed to survey a whole planet from just one point. (NASA image)
(NASA) – You do not need wheels to explore Mars. After launching in November, NASA's InSight spacecraft will deploy its solar panels, deploy a robotic arm … and stay. Unlike Space Agency rovers, InSight is a lander designed to study a whole planet from just one point.
This sedentary science allows InSight to detect geophysical signals deep beneath the Martian surface, including Martian earthquakes and heat. Scientists will also be able to track radio signals from the stationary spacecraft, which vary due to the wobble in the rotation of Mars. Understanding this shaking could help solve the puzzle of whether the core of the planet is solid.
Here are five things to know about InSight:
1. InSight Can Measure Quakes Across the Earth Planet
Earthquakes on Earth are usually detected using seismometers. InSight has only one – called SEIS (Internal Structure Seismic Experiment) – so his science team will use some creative measurements to analyze seismic waves as they happen anywhere on the planet.
SEIS will measure seismic waves of Marsquakes and meteorite strikes moving through Mars. The speed of these waves changes with the material they move through, helping scientists to decipher what the interior of the planet is made of.
Seismic waves occur in a surprising number of tastes. Some vibrate over the surface of a planet while others bounce off their center. They also move at different speeds. Seismologists can use any type as a tool to triangulate where and when a seismic event occurred.
This means that InSight could have landed somewhere on Mars and would have collected the same kind of science without moving.
InSight has two X – band antennas on its deck, which form a third instrument called RISE (Rotation and Interior Structure Experiment). (19659005) 2. InSights Seismometer Needs Peace and Quiet
Seismometers are inherently sensitive. They must be isolated from "noise" to accurately measure seismic waves.
SEIS is sensitive enough to detect vibrations smaller than the width of a hydrogen atom. It will be the first seismometer ever deployed on the surface of Mars, where it will be a thousand times more accurate than seismometers lying on the Viking lands.
To take advantage of this exquisite sensitivity, engineers have given SEIS a shell: a wind-and-thermal shield, which InSight's arm will lay over the seismometer.
This protective dome pushes down when the wind blows over it; A Mylar chainmail skirt keeps the wind away from the wind. SEIS is also a cozy place to hide from the strong temperature fluctuations of Mars, which can cause tiny changes to the springs and electronics of the instrument.
The team at InSight has chosen a location on the equator of Mars called Elysium Planitia – as flat and boring as on Mars. This makes landing a little easier as there are fewer impacts, fewer stones to land, and plenty of sunlight to power the spacecraft. (19659000) 3. InSight has a self hammering nail
Have you ever tried to hammer a nail? Then you know it's important to hold on to it. InSight wears a nail that also needs to be held steady.
This unique instrument, called HP 3 (package for heat flow and physical properties), holds a spike on a long tether. A mechanism inside the spike will knock him down to 16 feet (5 meters) underground and pull out the tether embedded with thermal sensors.
At this depth, it can detect the heat in Mars since the formation of the planet. This heat formed the surface with volcanoes, mountain ranges and valleys. It may even have determined where rivers ran early in the history of Mars.
. 4 InSight can land in a safe place
Because InSight needs peace of mind – and because it can collect seismic and heat data from all over the world Planet – the spacecraft can land freely in the safest place.
InSight's team chose a location on the Equator of Mars called Elysium Planitia – as flat and boring as any on Mars. This makes landing a little easier as there are fewer impacts, fewer stones to land, and plenty of sunlight to power the spacecraft. The fact that InSight does not consume much energy and should have plenty of sunlight at the equator of Mars means that it can provide much data for scientists.
The fact that InSight does not consume much energy and should have enough of it Sunlight at the equator of Mars means that it can provide much data for scientists. (19659005) 5. InSight misses the Mars wobble
InSight has two X-band antennas on its deck, forming a third instrument called RISE (Rotation and Interior Structure Experiment).  Ada signals from RISE are measured over months, maybe even years, to investigate the tiny "wobble" in the planet's rotation. This shaking is a sign of whether the core of Mars is fluid or solid – a property that could also illuminate the planet's thin magnetic field.
Since Mars Pathfinder's three-month mission in 1997 (though the Rover Opportunity took a few measurements in 2011 while resting and awaiting winter). Each time a stationary spacecraft sends radio signals from Mars, it can help scientists improve their measurements.
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