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How NASA Will Know When InSight Touches Down

Dragon
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Post by Dragon Wed Nov 21, 2018 5:34 pm

What's the sound of a touchdown on Mars?

If you're at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, it sounds like winning the Super Bowl: cheers, laughter and lots of hollering.

But in the minutes before that, NASA's InSight team will be monitoring the Mars lander's radio signals using a variety of spacecraft — and even radio telescopes here on Earth — to suss out what's happening 91 million miles (146 million km) away.

Because these signals are captured by several spacecraft, they're relayed to Earth in different ways and at different times. That means the mission team may know right away when InSight touches down, or they may have to wait up to several hours.

Here's how NASA will be listening for the next Mars landing on Nov. 26.

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Dragon
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Post by Dragon Wed Nov 21, 2018 5:36 pm

How NASA Will Know When InSight Touches Down PIA22738-800x600
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

This animation depicts the MarCO CubeSats relaying data (blue) from NASA's InSight lander (green) as InSight enters the Martian atmosphere.

Source / Image Courtesy


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Post by Dragon Wed Nov 21, 2018 5:38 pm



As NASA and industry managers and engineers watch from Vandenberg Air Force Base and the agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, the Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport, or InSight, Mars lander separates and is deployed from the Centaur upper stage for its trip to the Red Planet.

InSight will be the first mission to look deep beneath the Martian surface.


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Post by Dragon Wed Nov 21, 2018 5:39 pm



NASA MarCO is a flyby technology demonstration that, if successful, will provide NASA the ability to quickly transmit status information about the Mars InSight lander as it descends to the Red Planet in November 2018.

While InSight won't rely on MarCO for communications, MarCO will blaze a trail for a class of miniature spacecraft called CubeSats.


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Post by Cloud Wed Nov 21, 2018 7:40 pm

Never really thought about how they would know, this is really interesting goodjob thanks for sharing Dragon


hugs


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Post by Dragon Thu Nov 22, 2018 3:10 am

How NASA Will Know When InSight Touches Down PIA19143-800x600
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The Mars Odyssey orbiter took this image of the target landing site for NASA's InSight lander.

Source / Image Courtesy


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