InSight arrives on Mars to "know the heart" of the red planet



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"Know the heart"In Mars is the main objective InSight Module, the first mission of the NASA who wants to study specifically the interior and composition of the red planet, which landed, this Monday, November 26, with success on the Martian surface.

"I feel you, Mars. And soon I will know your heart. With this safe landing, I'm here. I'm at home, "he said on Twitter Monday, with a romanticism not typical of the most advanced technology, the InSight module, which broadcast live on this social network his space adventure.

After a long wait to bite the nails and look unblinkingly at the screens in the control room, technicians and Propulsion Laboratory of NASA in Pasadena (California, USA) received on Monday, with great joy, at 11:53 local time (19h53 GMT), the signal that InSight had landed on Mars, as planned.

Collective hugs and nonstop applause took center stage in a room where NASA folks, following a singular superstition, ate peanuts to better support the antechamber of the landing and wish InSight the best of luck.

NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine noted with great satisfaction that it is "an incredible day" for the agency and also acknowledged the contribution of the US international partners. in this mission.

"And what's fascinating is that when you look at it, you think: Every achievement is something that happened eight minutes earlier (so it takes a lot of time to travel Mars the earth) & # 39 ;. So it's exciting, but you also have to take a step back and realize that what you see has already happened. It's a unique and incredible experience, "he said.

In previous days, NASA experts were constantly talking about the "seven minutes of terror", the delicate and very brief phase in which the module had to pass through the Martian atmosphere at almost 20,000 kilometers per hour to reduce its speed sharply. up to about five kilometers before landing.

InSight not only overcame its landing, which involved a combined process of parachute and "retro-rocket", but almost immediately sent its first photo Mars, which arrived at NASA's control room at 11:58 pm local time (19:58 GMT).

In front of missions prior to the red planet, which had focused on studying its surface or its atmosphere, the great novelty and particularity of InSight is that its main purpose is to study the interior of the Earth. Mars: its entrails and its composition.

Scientists believe that finding out more about inside Mars will help you learn more about your training 4,500 million years ago as well as to expand the knowledge of the other three inner planets of the Solar system (Mercury, Venus and Earth).

To get to the "heart" of MarsInSight has, among other instruments, a seismograph and a probe that will measure the internal activity and the temperature of the planet, respectively.

In this regard, the work of a mechanical excavator that will drill about five feet deep on the Martian surface will be crucial.

InSight landed on a flat area of Mars known as Elysium Planitia, an area considered by experts as relatively safe for a landing without incident.

Unlike other NASA missions with robots that were moving Mars, InSight was installed today and will do your research without moving.

InSight took off on May 5 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California (USA) and visited 485 million kilometers between Earth and Mars.

It is anticipated that InSight's scientific mission will last about two years.

US Vice President Mike Pence congratulated Nasa and all those who contributed to the arrival of InSight on the Martian surface.

"This is the eighth time that the US has land on Mars and the first to study its interior. An incredible landmark! "Pence said on Twitter.

Several space exploration enthusiasts gathered on Monday to accompany the final leg of InSight's journey in different parts of the world from Times Square in New York to the City of Science and Industry in Paris.

With information and photos from EFE

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