Launch of Mars spacecraft should be visible from San Diego early Saturday

Steve Phelps
May 5, 2018

NASA's InSight spacecraft is about to blast off for Mars - and there are 3 ETFs that can help you invest in space travel.

InSight will collect data through three instruments, namely, a seismometer, a device to accurately locate the probe while Mars oscillates on its axis of rotation, and a heat flow sensor inserted 5 meters into the Martian subsoil. Hence the need for a smooth and quiet landing spot. JPL Director Michael Watkins led Pence; his wife, Karen; and their daughter Charlotte on a private tour of several facilities, including the mission control building and the "Mars Yard", an outdoor facility that mimics the Martian terrain.

Like Earthquakes on Earth, Mars is suspected of experiencing its own quakes which emanate from either tectonic activity or from meteorites striking the planet's surface. With time, stresses build up and are suddenly released when vast stretches of rock slip past one another along geological fault lines, sending tremors through the planet. But scientists are hoping for more besides. Curiosity continues to operate on Mars, where it studies the minerals that cover the plant's surface.

More equipment on the lander will be used for a radio science experiment.

Mars looms ever larger in America's space future.

"It will use the seismic waves generated by marsquakes to develop a map of the planet's deep interior". "Even with all the studying that we've done, it could throw us a curveball". The two-year journey will see the rocket's lander arrive on Mars on November 26, 2018.

India Rain, Dust Storm Kills at Least 90, Injures 160
Forty-three people died there as the wind speed touched 130kms/h, said Relief Commissioner Sanjay Kumar of Uttar Pradesh state. Sandstorms , accompanied by extremely strong winds, are common for the summer season in these parts of India .

No matter the launching point, getting to Mars is hard. The planet is never an easy destination and only about 40% of missions from any space agency have been successful.

The launch window for the mission stretches into June 8, in case weather or technical issues force delays in Saturday's planned takeoff. Blast-off is scheduled for 4.05am local time (12.05pm UK). A little over an hour later, at about 2:30 a.m. EDT the 260-foot-tall Mobile Service Tower which is a structure that protects the Atlas V launch vehicle as well as its InSight payload during vertical assembly, will initiate a 20-minute long, 250-foot roll away from the Atlas, while the launch window will open four hours and 25 minutes later. Within two hours of launch, the spacecraft should make its first call home, the earliest confirmation scientists will have that the probe survived the rigours of launch.

Both are created to test new communications as well as navigation capabilities for future missions and could aid InSight communications.

"Mars is still a pretty mysterious planet", Banerdt said.

It will take seven minutes for the spacecraft's entry, descent and landing. "As soon as we're down we'll breathe more than a sigh of relief", he said.

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