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The Jeopardy of Landing on Mars

So, the main theme of the article is the Insight Lander, set to land on November 26, 2018 at 12:47 AM Edmonton time. If you check your calendar that could be today. The tricky things about Insight landing on Mars is the long and difficult process it takes to do so. Rob Manning, chief engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory goes through a condensed version of this process which he calls Entry, Descent, and Landing, or EDL. The short 3 minute video of Rob Manning explaining it shows a lot about how difficult this process can be as he says that "It takes thousands of steps..." to get from start to finish, and that each step has to be done perfectly for a successful mission. Things like the vehicle entering the atmosphere at a 12 degree angle and having the vehicle send pulse to the floor  to measure it's height are just a few of the many steps need to have a safe landing. From all this you can see exactly what "The Jeopardy of Landing on Mars" is.

Now, the main purpose of even sending Insight is to study the interior of Mars. Equipped on Insight are a few seismometers, which have the function of measuring "Marsquakes", and if you don't have a sense of humor are just earthquakes on Mars. By studying these tremors we will be able to see "how the underground rock is layered", and if we compare this to Earth we might get a little history lesson on how the planets where formed almost 5 billion years ago. Tom Pike in his interview which can be found at the bottom of the article gives us a little more "Insight" to the actual mission. The vibrations that the seismometers will shows us things like if Mars has a liquid core, as on Earth our liquid core gives us or magnetic field, protecting us from solar winds. It will also attempt to answer questions like the size of Mars' core, the size of the crust, how many Marsquakes there are, everything we can about the interior of Mars. This interview is an audio only and is 13 minutes longs, but it is a much more in depth explanation of the actual purpose of the mission and I'd recommended if you have the time.

Finally, My thoughts on this whole projects. Thinking about things outside this planet always gets me wondering. A project like this can open our eyes to how the planets where formed, the reasons why the Red Planet is a dead planet, and much more to come. I haven't looked into things like landing on Mars before, or even Mars as a planet itself, but the article really was able to shed some light on our neighbour planet. I agree with the idea to try and get people on Mars and even beyond if we can because for all we know we are the only life that the universe has. Ensuring that we can survive allows for the universe to be more then a dead lump of space, it can be a place where life continues to grow. I'll end with this quote from Carl Sagan, “The cosmos is within us. We are made of star-stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.” .   

Thanks for reading

Messages In This Thread
The Jeopardy of Landing on Mars - by Richard Nganzi - 11-13-2018, 11:05 AM
RE: The Jeopardy of Landing on Mars - by Jaidan_a - 12-01-2018, 03:58 PM

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