The mole pulls the red planet. | TIME ONLINE


What does Mars look like inside? How big is the core of the planet? How is he? To date, there are no answers to these questions. NASA's Insight Probe is now required to provide new insights and otherwise break the record. Tonight at 20:54 in German time, the device is to land on its red planet, stay in place and dig up for months in the planet earth. In this way, scientists want to better understand how rocky planets formed in our solar system four and a half billion years ago and why they developed so differently.

If everything goes as planned. Concern: In the history of Mars's international mission more than one failed. Hope no one knows that it would be better to break the red planet than the Americans. At 20 o'clock in German time to send Nasa landing here to live.

Established as "the largest parking lot in Mars". At least, the authorities describe the landing zone in the Elysium Planitia area southwest of the large volcano Elysium complex. What is surprising: there is nothing to do there – so far it was necessary to look at the potential special structures close to. But where there are hardly any larger rocks or rocks, no slopes or sinks, the landing robot is likely to stop safely. Insight would be 550 miles from the Curiosity landing site, about 2600 kilometers from Spirit and 8,400 miles from Opportunity.

Not much going on, lots of sunshine: Elysium Planitia is considered a suitable landing place. The blue and green areas of this map are shallow areas, yellow and red high terrain.

From the beginning of January, we want to create the "deepest, always human-made technology that has been hit in the hole in the second piece of heaven", is said in the press release of the German Aerospace Center (DLR). Tools: you want to dig up to five meters deep. Significant responsibility for record drilling should be HP3, developed by DLR's employees Thermal Flow and Physical Properties Package, because his skills also thank the "Mole".

Hammering is at least until March 2019

The device fell 50 centimeters to the cliff, then it stops according to DLR. So measurements can be made and equipment monitored before going to the best 50 centimeters deeper. The probe uses a fully automatic, electrically operated hammer damping mechanism and pulls a flat cable mounted on the measuring sensor on the back of the Mars. In co-operation with other newly developed devices, it measures the internal temperature and uses a seismometer to store earthquakes, meteorite effects, and all other Mars shakes.

Good old acquaintances help transfer the collected data to the planet. Spacecraft Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Mars Mars Odyssey fly to the landing site twice a day and function as broadcast stations, ie radio stations for data traffic.

"Because we do not know what the surprises – for example, because of the tougher cliffs – are waiting for us under the ground, we will continue carefully and plan to reach the depth of the target several weeks until March 2019," Tilman Spohn's DLR Institute in Planetary Research in Berlin said.

Because Insight not only drill but also answers to many scientific questions (how long is Marskern, how does it consist, whether it is liquid or solid, how thick is the bark, how active is Mars, how often are meteors bullied), there are two land- years. Millions of dollars, equivalent to about 880 million euros, have led to responsible people so far.


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