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Insight Lander

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Insight Lander

Amelia Wignall, Meilee Riddle, and Hadley Redmond

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On May 4, 2018, NASA launched a Mars Rover, the InSight Lander. It landed on November 26, 2018. This was launched to help find out more about the core of mars. We were also able to see the first mars sunset! InSight lander is the first rover to perform the first Mars landing in six years, now that our technology has advanced so much. We can are now able to go forward in our explanation of space. This is the newest rover that is the most advanced in our ability. So, hopefully, we will be able to get lots of information about our red planet.

 

InSight’s job while on Mars is mainly to study Mars’s core and temperature. In order to do this, InSight needs to be on a part of Mars where it can be still and investigate Mars in peace. Scientists decided to land InSight on a part of Mars close to its equator, called Elysium Planitia. Elysium Planitia is a wide, flat plain that was chosen because not much goes on there. InSight is not trying to study Mars’s surface, so the team that landed InSight didn’t need to land it in an interesting location, they just picked the easiest possible place to land the rover.

 

InSight lander is the newest Mars rover model. InSight has several different tools that it will use to study Mars. One of them is a seismometer. InSight will use the seismometer to measure both small and large earthquakes on Mars and learn more about its tectonic plates. The seismometer is a small brown dome that sits on top of InSight. This device is arguably one of the most important ones in InSight because, without it, it would be extremely difficult to learn about things so deep under Mars’s surface. Like most other Mars rovers, InSight is powered by solar panels. These enormous panels stretch on both sides of the rover and span out about 7 feet. Another important piece of InSight is its mechanical arm that is used to place different equipment on Mars’s surface. It is almost 6 feet long and has 5 fingers on the end of it to grab and hold things. Because InSight is studying Mars’s core, you would expect it to dig into the ground somehow, and it does. It has a Heat Flow and Physical Properties Probe (HP3) that can dig 16 feet into Mars’s surface, which is the deepest we have ever dug into Mars. While the HP3 is under the surface, it measures the temperature of the rock and can help scientists see how much Mars’s temperature changes as it becomes deeper under the surface.

 

InSight’s basic mission is to see how a rocky body will form and evolve into a planet. They will do this by investigating the composition and interior structure of Mars.

 

InSight will first study the planet’s interior. Scientists will look at vital signs, like the planet’s pulse and it’s temperature. Although previous attempts on studying the Red Planet have involved investigating the surface by studying its canyons, volcanoes, the rocks, and the planet’s soil,  InSight will first attempt to collect what they describe as the “planet’s pulse” with a seismometer. The seismometer will basically record the waves that travel through Mars’s interior. By studying these waves, it could help scientists to figure out what is creating the waves.

 

Next, scientists will observe the planet’s temperature. InSight’s heat flow probe will burrow deep into Mars and investigate how much heat is flowing in Mars. This will help to show how similar Mars and Earth are in terms of what are they made of. Taking the temperature will also help to observe how the planet has evolved.

 

Lastly, they will also attempt to check the planet’s reflexes with InSight. Mars, like Earth, teeters a little bit as it rotates around its axis. Two radio antennas that are part of the RISE instrument, will track the precise location of the lander. This will help scientists to test the planets reflexes, and will also help them to know how the deep interior structure affects the planet’s motion around the Sun.

 

As we venture further into the research of Mars, we can now find out more about our “red planet”. If we can collect enough data, we will be able to find out if Mars is habitable. In the future, we may even be able to travel there.

About the Writers
Amelia Wignall, Journalist, Editing Board Member

Hi! My name is Amelia Wignall and I am a 7th grader at Catharine Blaine. I like to write science articles for the Paw Press. I think the most important...

Meilee Riddle, Co-Editor; Board Member

Hi! I am Meilee Riddle. I am a 7th grader at Catharine Blaine.  I am the Co-Editor of the opinion-editorial section. I like to write and do photography...

Hadley Redmond, Co-Editor; Journalist

Hey! My name is Hadley and I am a Co-Editor for the Paw Press and a writer for the Opinion-Editorial column. I love to play soccer, and watch The Office....

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