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Topic: Mars

NASA InSight Lander set to touch down on Mars November 26th

 

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA –  NASA’s Mars Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) lander is scheduled to touch down on the Red Planet at approximately noon PST (2:00pm CST) on November 26th, and viewers everywhere can watch coverage of the event live on NASA Television, the agency’s website and social media platforms.

Launched on May 5th, InSight marks NASA’s first Mars landing since the Curiosity rover in 2012. The landing will kick off a two-year mission in which InSight will become the first spacecraft to study Mars’ deep interior.

Illustration showing a simulated view of NASA's InSight lander firing retrorockets as it descends toward the surface of Mars. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Illustration showing a simulated view of NASA’s InSight lander firing retrorockets as it descends toward the surface of Mars. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA explains why it’s important to study Space Rocks

 

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA says the entire history of human existence is a tiny blip in our solar system’s 4.5-billion-year history. No one was around to see planets forming and undergoing dramatic changes before settling in their present configuration. In order to understand what came before us — before life on Earth and before Earth itself — scientists need to hunt for clues to that mysterious distant past.

Those clues come in the form of asteroids, comets and other small objects. Like detectives sifting through forensic evidence, scientists carefully examine these small bodies for insights about our origins.

The small worlds of our solar system help us trace its history and evolution, including comets. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/UMD)

The small worlds of our solar system help us trace its history and evolution, including comets. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/UMD)

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NASA’s Orion Spacecraft’s Service Module arrives from Europe

 

NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – The powerhouse that will help NASA’s Orion spacecraft venture beyond the Moon is stateside. The European-built service module that will propel, power and cool during Orion flight to the Moon on Exploration Mission-1 arrived from Germany at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Tuesday to begin final outfitting, integration and testing with the crew module and other Orion elements.

The service module is integral to human missions to the Moon and Mars. After Orion launches on top of the agency’s Space Launch System rocket, the service module will be responsible for in-space maneuvering throughout the mission, including course corrections.

The European Service Module for NASA's Orion spacecraft is loaded on an Antonov airplane in Bremen, Germany, on Nov. 5, 2018, for transport to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. For the first time, NASA will use a European-built system as a critical element to power an American spacecraft, extending the international cooperation of the International Space Station into deep space. Credits: NASA/Rad Sinyak

The European Service Module for NASA’s Orion spacecraft is loaded on an Antonov airplane in Bremen, Germany, on Nov. 5, 2018, for transport to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. For the first time, NASA will use a European-built system as a critical element to power an American spacecraft, extending the international cooperation of the International Space Station into deep space. Credits: NASA/Rad Sinyak

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NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover back to work on Mars

 

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover drove about 197 feet (60 meters) over the weekend to a site called Lake Orcadie, pushing its total odometry to over 12 miles (20 kilometers). This was Curiosity’s longest drive since experiencing a memory anomaly on September 15th, 2018. The rover switched to a spare computer, called the Side-A computer, on October 3rd, 2018.

After more than two weeks of science operations, and now with this latest drive, the mission is back to business. The team plans to drill a new target later this week.

A self-portrait taken by NASA's Curiosity rover taken on Sol 2082 (June 15, 2018). A Martian dust storm has reduced sunlight and visibility at the rover's location in Gale Crater. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

A self-portrait taken by NASA’s Curiosity rover taken on Sol 2082 (June 15, 2018). A Martian dust storm has reduced sunlight and visibility at the rover’s location in Gale Crater. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

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NASA has perfect landing spot picked out for Mars InSight Lander

 

Written by DC Agle
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – No doubt about it, NASA explores some of the most awe-inspiring locations in our solar system and beyond. Once seen, who can forget the majesty of astronaut Jim Irwin standing before the stark beauty of the Moon’s Hadley Apennine mountain range, of the Hubble Space Telescope’s gorgeous “Pillars of Creation” or Cassini’s magnificent mosaic of Saturn?

Mars also plays a part in this visually compelling equation, with the high-definition imagery from the Curiosity rover of the ridges and rounded buttes at the base of Mount Sharp bringing to mind the majesty of the American Southwest. That said, Elysium Planitia – the site chosen for the November 26th landing of NASA’s InSight mission to Mars – will more than likely never be mentioned with those above because it is, well, plain.

This artist's concept depicts the smooth, flat ground that dominates InSight's landing ellipse in the Elysium Planitia region of Mars. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

This artist’s concept depicts the smooth, flat ground that dominates InSight’s landing ellipse in the Elysium Planitia region of Mars. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s Dawn spacecraft runs out of fun, mission ends

 

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has gone silent, ending a historic mission that studied time capsules from the solar system’s earliest chapter.

Dawn missed scheduled communications sessions with NASA’s Deep Space Network on Wednesday, October 31st, and Thursday, November 1st, 2018. After the flight team eliminated other possible causes for the missed communications, mission managers concluded that the spacecraft finally ran out of hydrazine, the fuel that enables the spacecraft to control its pointing.

This photo of Ceres and the bright regions of Occator Crater was one of the last views NASA's Dawn spacecraft transmitted before it completed its mission. This view, which faces south, was captured on Sept. 1 at an altitude of 2,340 miles (3,370 kilometers) as the spacecraft was ascending in its elliptical orbit. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA)

This photo of Ceres and the bright regions of Occator Crater was one of the last views NASA’s Dawn spacecraft transmitted before it completed its mission. This view, which faces south, was captured on Sept. 1 at an altitude of 2,340 miles (3,370 kilometers) as the spacecraft was ascending in its elliptical orbit. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA)

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NASA lists Five Things you should know about InSight’s Mars Landing

 

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA says that every Mars landing is a knuckle-whitening feat of engineering. But each attempt has its own quirks based on where a spacecraft is going and what kind of science the mission intends to gather.

On November 26th, 2018 NASA will try to safely set a new spacecraft on Mars. InSight is a lander dedicated to studying the deep interior of the planet – the first mission ever to do so.

This is an illustration showing a simulated view of NASA's InSight lander about to land on the surface of Mars. This view shows the underside of the spacecraft. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

This is an illustration showing a simulated view of NASA’s InSight lander about to land on the surface of Mars. This view shows the underside of the spacecraft. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA begins “On a Mission” podcast series that follows Insight Lander’s flight to Mars

 

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA has a new mission to Mars, and it’s taking podcast listeners along for the ride.

Launched Monday, October 29th, 2018 the eight-episode series “On a Mission” follows the InSight lander as it travels hundreds of millions of miles and attempts to land on Mars on November 26th.

“On a Mission” will be the first JPL podcast to track a mission during flight, through interviews with the InSight team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

'On a Mission' is a new eight-episode podcast series from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory that follows the InSight mission as the robotic explorer journeys to Mars for a November 26th landing. The first two episodes are available on October 29th for download. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

‘On a Mission’ is a new eight-episode podcast series from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory that follows the InSight mission as the robotic explorer journeys to Mars for a November 26th landing. The first two episodes are available on October 29th for download. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA tests Parachute for Mars 2020 Rover

 

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – In the early hours of September 7th, 2018 NASA broke a world record.

Less than 2 minutes after the launch of a 58-foot-tall (17.7-meter) Black Brant IX sounding rocket, a payload separated and began its dive back through Earth’s atmosphere. When onboard sensors determined the payload had reached the appropriate height and Mach number (38 kilometers altitude, Mach 1.8), the payload deployed a parachute.

Within four-tenths of a second, the 180-pound parachute billowed out from being a solid cylinder to being fully inflated.

This high-definition image was taken on September 7th, 2018, during the third and final test flight of the ASPIRE payload. It was the fastest inflation of this size parachute in history and created a peak load of almost 70,000 pounds of force. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

This high-definition image was taken on September 7th, 2018, during the third and final test flight of the ASPIRE payload. It was the fastest inflation of this size parachute in history and created a peak load of almost 70,000 pounds of force. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s InSight Lander to study Mars from one location

 

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – You don’t need wheels to explore Mars. After touching down in November, NASA’s InSight spacecraft will spread its solar panels, unfold a robotic arm … and stay put.

Unlike the space agency’s rovers, InSight is a lander designed to study an entire planet from just one spot.

This sedentary science allows InSight to detect geophysical signals deep below the Martian surface, including marsquakes and heat.

This artist's concept depicts NASA's InSight lander after it has deployed its instruments on the Martian surface. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

This artist’s concept depicts NASA’s InSight lander after it has deployed its instruments on the Martian surface. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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