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Posted by on Aug 21, 2012 in Science |

NASA announces a new mission to Mars to explore beneath the surface

NASA announces a new mission to Mars to explore beneath the surface

(C) NASA

announced plans to send another robot to Mars, Curiosity successor, to explore the of Mars. Called “InSight” (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport), the robot will use a drill to see what’s below the surface.

The will be conducted by “HP3″ – Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package – one of the four instruments that will be equipped with insight. HP3 be built by the German Aerospace Center, and use a stake of 35 centimeters electromechanical hollowed called “Tractor Mole”.

“Tractor Mole has an internal hammer up and down, moving the stick down on the ground and dragging a chain,” said Sue Smrekar, a scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of NASA.

This “mole” descend 5 meters below the surface, where the temperature is measured to determine how much heat emanating from the interior of Mars, in order to meet the thermal history of the planet.

“Enter subsurface us away from the influence of the sun and allows us to measure the heat that comes from within. InSight measure heartbeat and vital signs of the red for a full Martian year, two years from Earth. Really have a chance to understand the processes that control early planet formation, “said Smrekar.

InSight will be built based on the technology used in the Phoenix, who was sent to one of the poles of Mars in 2007, which could determine the existence of water ice in this region.

The robot include a geodesic instrument to determine the planet’s rotation axis, and a robot arm two cameras. It will be released in 2016.

Link: New Insight on Mars Expected from new NASA mission (NASA)

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