On Sunday, at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) near Los Angelewas preparing, to make the final course adjustments to maneuver the landing gear and allow it to land on Monday on the red planet.
If all goes according to plan, InSight, which completes a journey of 548 million kilometers, will enter the pink sky of Mars Monday evening at the speed of 19,310 km/h, and its descent to the ground will be slowed down by the friction with the atmosphere, by a giant parachute.
This robot, launched from California last May, is due to land on a site 600 km from the landing point of the Curiosity rover, arrived in 2012, which is the last NASA engine to land on the red planet .
InSight, which weighs 360 kg, represents the 21st mission launched by the United States to Mars since the Mariner flyover missions in the 1960s. Nearly 20 other missions were launched to Mars by other countries.
InSight must spend 24 months, about a Martian year, monitoring the seismic activity of the Red Planet and drilling to gather clues about the formation of this planet.
The Viking probes in the mid-1970s were already equipped with seismometers, but they were attached to the top of the landing gear, which proved to be largely ineffective.
The key instrument of InSight is a high-precision, French-made seismometer designed to detect the slightest vibrations of “Mars tremors” and meteorite impacts.
InSight is also equipped with a German-made drill that can go down to five meters deep in Martian soil.
Alex Marchand was a reporter for Three Zebras, before becoming the lead editor of Three Zebras. Alex has over thirty bylines and has reported on countless stories concerning all things related to technology. Alex studied UCLA.