NASA landing Perseverance Mars rover The next month will produce intense waves, some of which could help scientists better understand the structure of the Red Planet.
Endeavors, at the heart of NASA’s $ 2.7 billion Mars 2020 sampling mission, are scheduled to touch inside the 28-mile (45 km) Jezero Crater on Feb. 18, the Great Landing. Will create an earthquake signal that One of the NASA rover cousins. InSight Mars LanderIt will attempt to detect from distances more than 2,000 miles (3,200 kilometers), a new study reports.
If so, it would have been a space flight first: Never has any spacecraft “heard”; landings on other planets this way, an InSight team member said.
In the photo: NASA’s Perseverance Mars exploration mission to the red planet.
InSight’s super sensitive seismograph kit picked up. Hundreds of marsquakes Since the November 2018 landing on the Martian Plains known as Elysium Planitia, InSight team members are using these measurements to map the Red Planet’s interior in unprecedented detail, the primary goal of the mission.
However, such an interpretation can be tricky.
“Unlike on earth you can freely think when and where. [seismic] The source arises and of course how big it is. MarsWe have a single station, and we are both trying to identify the mechanisms of the origin and structure of the planets through which the waves propagate, ”said study lead author and InSight team member Ben Fernando, Ph.D., a student at the University of Oxford in Oxford. England told Space.com
“Separating the two doesn’t have to be trivial,” he added. “In the simplest description, if you are in a room and can’t see it, it’s hard to tell if someone is talking loudly, far away, or quietly close to you. In that room it will be even more difficult. “
The Perseverance landings provide a great opportunity for InSight scientists, an opportunity to collect detailed, pre-known impact earthquakes, Fernando and his colleagues write in a new study.
Mars 2020 will use the same entry, landing, and landing (EDL) strategy as its predecessor, Curious to see the Mars roverDown safely in August 2012
Mars 2020 is entering its thinnest Atmosphere on Mars Difficult to slow down greatly by friction, then use a supersonic parachute to slow down further. About seven minutes after entering the atmosphere a Rocket powered sky crane It will reduce its persistence to the Jezero’s ground, lightly on the cable, then fly off with intent, crash-landing at a safe distance.
That last step will not cause a strong seismic wave. But the other two points in the EDL sequence are likely to produce a rather powerful signal, according to Fernando and his team.
One such signal will be produced by the sonic boom, which will occur after Mars 2020 is about 60 miles (100 km) from the surface of Mars, an altitude at which the atmosphere is dense enough. Written in a new study
Some of the energy from this boom – which is sped off as the spacecraft moves subsonic about three minutes before a touchdown hit the Martian surface – is transformed into a seismic wave. But this signal won’t be strong enough for InSight to pick up, located about 2,145 miles (3,452 km) from Perseverance’s landing site, Fernando and his team calculated, referring to the scattered effects of the Martian winds as Key factor
Another signal is coming from a real surface impact – a double effect in reality. Shortly after Mars 2020 enters the atmosphere, the spacecraft will drive two “Cruise Mass Balance Devices” (CMBDs) to shift the CMBD’s center of mass, each of which weighs 170 pounds (77 kg), drop from a height. Very at an altitude of about 900 miles (1,450 km) and will hit the ground at a speed of about 8,700 mph (14,000 kph), Fernando said.
Mars InSight in Photos: NASA’s Mission to Investigate Mars’ Core
It is not clear how severe the seismic waves from the CMBD impact will be.InSight has not detected any confirmed impacts on Mars, so predictions are difficult. But Fernando and his team generated estimates based on data gathered here, on Earth and on. The moonAnd these numbers point out that InSight has a good chance of measuring waves.
“Where the best is true (And assuming the weather and sound spectrum were the same during the same period last year for Mars), the required signal-to-noise ratio would be sufficient to detect a positive 40% of the time, ‘the researchers said. In the new study, submitted to the journal Earth and Space Sciences (but not yet accepted), you can read the paper in advance for free. Here.
There was some luck involved in this rather rosy figure: CMBD-generated waves would arrive at InSight’s location in the evening, Elysium Planitia time, the quietest part of the day, Fernando said.
Detection will be a big deal for InSight team members, they’ll know exactly how far and how fast the seismic waves travel.
“If you know how fast they are, you can start looking at the structures they’ve published,” Fernando said.
Effortlessly committed to recording its own landings in an unprecedented fashion, Mars 2020 has two microphones, one of which will attempt. Catch the incredible sound of EDL on February 18.. (Another part of Perseverance’s rocky SuperCam system) Never before has a Mars spacecraft recorded the raw sound of the Red Planet.
Persistence is not the only spacecraft scheduled to land on Mars this year in China. The Tianwen-1 mission will arrive in orbit on February 10. And ditch the lander and the rover to the red planet about two months later if all goes according to plan.
The InSight team would love to listen to the Tianwen-1 landing, Fernando said, but details about the mission, especially the landing times and exact location, are hard to come by, so right now. “Predictions about the ability to detect this signal are impossible,” the researchers wrote in the paper.
ExoMars in Europe-Russia is launching files. Lander-Rover companion to Mars in 2022InSight was barely able to detect earthquake signals from that landing sequence, as the ExoMars counterpart would touch down the other side of the world from InSight, Fernando said.
SpaceX aims to soon begin flying next-generation Starship spacecraft to Mars – Probably as early as 2024Company founder and CEO Elon Musk said if InSight were to live long enough, it might be able to record the touchdowns of these 165-foot (50-meter) stainless steel spacecraft.
“It’s not out of question,” Fernando said. “It depends where they decide to land.”
Mike Wall is the author of “Out there(Grand Central Publishing, 2018; Illustration by Karl Tate), a book about the search for extraterrestrial life.Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook.