New probe into the mission InSight sent to the Red Planet in 2016. The device will be equipped with a drilling rig, seismic and laboratory equipment for the study of the motion of Mars in its orbit around the Sun. After studying the internal structure of the Red Planet, geologists hope to understand how the Earth was formed.
"Mission InSight can be called a real geophysical expedition, — quotes the edition of Space Flight Now the words of Bruce Banerdta — a scientist working for NASA as part of the project. — We will study the seismic activity of Mars and hear the beating of his heart. We construct the temperature gradient of the subsurface layer and understand how much heat is coming from its depths. We'll see how to Mars are the tidal forces of the Sun and satellites, and to observe the tiniest fluctuations in its orbit. "
Scientists believe that the study of the internal structure of Mars will help to understand how the solar system formed planet Earth group. Experts hope to solve some puzzles, for example, is still not clear structure of the core of Mars is not clear as to why on this planet, in contrast to the Earth, there is no drift of tectonic plates.
Built on proven its effectiveness in the 2008 machine Phoenix, the new probe will be virtually stationary drilling platform equipped with additional equipment. The main tool of the probe — drill capable of deeper into the Martian soil to 5 meters. The launch is planned for March 2016, landing on Mars — on September 20, 2016.
Engineers calculated that the probe will work on the surface of the planet 720 Earth days, or 700 Sols (Martian days). However, the rover Opportunity, The 90 Sols job, working for more than nine years. The cost of the mission InSight, not counting the cost of the output device in space, valued at $ 425 million. It is believed that such a modest budget was achieved through the use of previously developed systems.
Platform and much of the equipment will be collected Jet Propulsion Laboratory NASA, which created the famous Mars rovers Spirit, Opportunity and Curiosity. However, the very rig built by German engineers working at the German Aerospace Agency.
In early February, the rover Curiosity has used the rig on Mars, however, make a hole depth of several centimeters can be called more drilling than the present drilling. However, the stone powder derived from this operation is very important for scientists — so in an automatic laboratory on board the robot first enrolled rock sample not subjected to weathering and sunlight. Chemical analysis of soil samples collected by the device Curiosity, has shown that millions of years ago on Mars existed living conditions.