NASA的航天飞船洞察号(InSight)现在距离火星比其路程一半还要远。

洞察号预期在11月26日抵达火星。它被指派揭示火星的地形,去探测它的硬层、地幔和地核的深度。

“我们正在真正地在测量这个星球的深度,试图深入行星内部数以千英里的位置,目的是不仅仅只理解它的地表,而是整个行星。” 洞察号太空飞行任务的原理侦察员Bruce Banerdt说道。

洞察号在5月离开地区,携带着一个地震仪,为了去研究火星上地面的震动。这个飞船将要在火星上的埃律西昂平原区域。洞察号太空飞行任务将是探索这颗星球的内部的第一个火星任务。

行星学会汇报道,洞察号太空飞行任务原本是被计划在2016年5月启动的,但是关于地震仪的问题造成了一个拖延。

根据NASA,洞察号代表内部的探索使用着地震的侦探,大地测量学和热量转移。这个太空飞行任务被NASA的喷气推进实验室艰难地完成。

洞察号背后的在NASA的团队正在为这个飞船着陆进行准备。团队也激活并监视洞察号中对于航行、着陆、表面操作必要的子系统。根据由NASA开放的一个新闻,这些系统中包括非常敏感的科学的设备。

团队计划去探索为什么火星有那么多山峦。NASA报告称,他们希望侦查这颗行星的气温将给予洞察号什么东西导致了它的火山的组成,比如一个将近是珠穆拉玛峰3倍大小的火山奥林帕斯山。

除了月球之外,火星已经是太阳系中对于太空飞行任务来讲最受欢迎的位置。不过,探索火星中的一半尝试都以失败告终。从1996年以来的火星太空飞行任务的数据向太空探险者显示,火星比原先相信的更加和地球相像。

科学家们希望他们研究火星能够理解更多关于多岩石的行星是怎样形成的。

水星、金星、地球和火星都拥有一个多岩石的结构。根据NASA,科学家们希望对于火星内部的理解也将帮助他们搞懂太阳系外面的行星。

“我们将要去侦查它的深度,思考出地核有多大、地核由什么构成以及硬层有多大。我们运用着那个信息就将有能力回去检测我们关于火星和地球分别是如何形成的模型。” Banerdt说道。

在洞察号后面进入太空的是两个来帮助洞察号将数据传回地球的小型宇航飞船,叫做火星一号立方体。科学家们希望测试这些微型的交流仪器来帮助增大未来深度火星太空飞行任务的可能性。但是,根据NASA,如果它们不管用,它们将不会影戏洞察号太空飞行任务。

NASA的现在探索火星的漫游者机遇号有一个不确定的未来。Space.com报道说,洞察号正在去火星的路上时,出于一次大型沙尘暴的原因,机遇号的联络在6月10日被切断。机遇号于2004年11月在火星上着陆。

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NASA Spacecraft More Than Halfway to Mars

August 30, 2018 Updated: August 31, 2018   

NASA’s InSight spacecraft is now more than halfway to Mars.

The InSight is expected to touch down on Mars on Nov. 26. It’s set to penetrate the terrain on Mars to probe the depths of its crust, mantle, and core.

“We’re actually measuring the depths of the planet, thousands of miles deep into the planet to understand the entire planet, not just the surface,” said Bruce Banerdt, the principal investigator on the InSight mission.

The InSight departed Earth in May, carrying a seismometer to study ground motions on Mars. The spacecraft is set to land on Mars’s Elysium Planitia region. The InSight mission will be the first Mars mission to explore the interior of the planet.

The InSight mission was originally scheduled to launch in March 2016, but seismometer issues caused a delay, The Planetary Society reported.

The team at NASA behind InSight is preparing for the day the spacecraft lands. The team also monitors and activates InSight subsystems necessary for cruise, landing, and surface operations. These include very sensitive scientific instruments, according to a news release from NASA.

The team plans to explore why Mars has so many mountains. They hope probing the planet’s temperature will give insight into what led to its volcano formations, such as Olympus Mons, a volcano almost three times the size of Mount Everest, NASA reported.

Besides the moon, Mars has been the most popular location for space missions in the solar system. However, half of the attempts to explore Mars failed. Data obtained from Mars missions since 1996 revealed to space explorers that Mars is more like Earth than previously believed, according to The Planetary Society.

Scientists hope that studying Mars, they can understand more about how similar rocky planets formed. Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars all have a rocky structure. Scientists hope that understanding the interior of Mars will also help them understand other planets outside our solar system, according to NASA.

“We’re going to probe its depths, figure out how big the core is, what its made out of, how big the crust is and using that information we’re going to be able to go back and test our models of how Mars formed and how the earth formed,” said Banerdt.

Blasting through space behind InSight are two mini spacecraft called Mars Cube One to help InSight communicate data back to Earth. Scientists hope to test the viability of these miniaturized communications devices to help expand the possibilities of future deep space Mars missions. But if they don’t work, they will not affect InSight’s mission, according to NASA.

A NASA rover currently exploring Mars, the Opportunity, has an uncertain future. As InSight was on its way to Mars, Opportunity communications were cut off on June 10 due to a large dust storm, Space.com reported. Opportunity landed on Mars in January 2004.

Fox contributed to this report

From NTD.tv

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