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Red Planet Fever: Insight Probes and the Most Successful Mission to Mars



(ANSA) – Spacecraft Insight from NASA opened its solar panels today, culminating in the absolute landfall of a device Mars, even with the shipment of his first "selfie". Following from around the world, ranging from personal computers, from home to huge Time Zone screens, live streaming on the Internet, where Insight was positioned on Mars, undoubtedly helped raise the red planet's fever, which is always higher in recent months.

For half a century ago, the passion was reiterated, half the science fiction and the desire to discover new boundaries in space exploration. On Thursday, in New York, the Sotheby's house is about to auction the three fragments of lifelong stones captured by the Apollo missions on Earth, a dream come true for future missions projects that will return to the Moon with a view to landing, then on Mars.

The possibility that one day one can walk on another planet and even build from colonies ignite the imagination. Meanwhile, after the movie "The Martian" red planet returns as a science fiction myth. Compared to the 50s, the difference is that now everything is completely realistic.

For example, it's a fact that with the arrival of Insight there are three vehicles that simultaneously operate on the Mars surface, sending data to Earth. In addition to the newly arrived spacecraft, NASA has the potential and curiosity. A similar coincidence took place only for a short time in 2008, when Opportunity explored Mars with its "brother" Spirit, which stopped operating in 2010, and Phoenix, which ceased to contact ground in November 2008. Then there are eight vehicles active in the Mars Orbit, including two mini satellites that topped Insight on Mars.

In this scenario, the space vehicle that just arrived on Mars's soil controls all of its subsystems through high-tech testing and soon begins to view its cameras. Images that will be sent to Earth will help determine the optimal points for positioning the Sizgar and probe thermometers that measure the temperature of the planet to a depth of five meters.

"Although Insight can investigate the Mars surface surface from a geological point of view and will not be able to identify the potential presence of a trace of life, better knowledge of its depths and, in particular, heat transport could provide important information about its habitat," said Daniel Beaulieu, astrobiologist, Tor Vergata of the University of Rome . "This is important given the evidence of the presence of a sub-surface salt lake, so the salt concentration required to maintain liquid water is temperature dependent," he added, referring to the large water lake. Liquid was discovered last July under the Mars South poles glacier He added that this information could help to more precisely define which life forms might have been created and possibly remain in a similar environment.

Meanwhile, the Italian Larry Instrument (Laser Retro-Reflector for InSight), developed by the National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN) and the Italian Space Agency (ASI), will become the first of three laser reflectors that will operate on Mars when the European mission arrives.

"Together, they will become the benchmark for unloading future missions," said ASI staff representative Gabriele Mascetti. At the same time, the Larry Laser Detectors will be an exceptional research tool for the study of fundamental physics – the first relativity.


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