Less than 90 days left for the launch of InSight

NASA's InSight mission is almost ready. Last week he successfully passed one of the key tests that must be submitted before being launched in May of this year. On this occasion, the solar panels that will supply current to their instruments were unfolded for the last time once they land on the Red Planet in November.

InSight (Interior Exploration Using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport - Interior exploration using seismic investigations, geodesy and heat transport) will be the first mission to study the interior of Mars. It will take the TWINS environmental station on board (Temperature and Wind Sensors for InSight mission - Temperature and wind sensors for the InSight mission). TWINS has been designed at the Center for Astrobiology (CSIC-INTA) in collaboration with CRISA and is designed to support one of the instruments of the mission, the SEIS (Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure) instrument that will measure seismic movements and meteorite impacts on Mars. SIX has been built by CNES (France) in collaboration with DLR (Germany) and the Space Agencies of Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

TWINS consists of two sensors (one temperature and one wind) shaped like a mast. He will be in charge of monitoring the environmental conditions in the landing zone continuously (at least during a Martian year -2 two terrestrial ones).

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In this way, TWINS will play a very important role in the deployment of the instruments that go aboard InSight, since the weather conditions of that moment will be crucial and TWINS is in charge of measuring them.

Other instruments that will go on board InSight will be the HFP3 (Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package) and the instrument RISE (Sotational Interior Structure Experiment). The first, which has been built by DLR (Germany) will be responsible for checking the heat that reaches from the inside of the planet to the surface; while RISE will use the radio link between InSight and the antennas of NASA's Deep Space Network on Earth to accurately measure oscillations in the rotation of Mars and thus try to reveal if it has a molten or solid core.

When InSight lands on Mars, Spain and, specifically, the Astrobiology, will have two environmental stations operating on the Red Planet, REMS (Rover Environmental Monitoring Station), which is aboard the Curiosity, and TWINS.

With the launch of the Mars2020 mission, which will carry the MEDA instrument on board, there will be three CAB environmental stations operating on Mars.

 

Fuente: UCC-CAB

 

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