NASA’s landing Perseverance Mars Rover There will be severe waves next month, some of which may help scientists better understand the structure of the “red planet.”
Perseverance is the core of NASA’s $2.7 billion life exploration and sampling mission “Mars 2020”, which is scheduled to land in the 28-mile (45-kilometer) Jezero Crater on February 18.One of the Rangers’ cousins, NASA’s InSight Mars LanderA new research report says the company will try to detect from 2,000 miles (3,200 kilometers) away.
If this happens, this will be the first space flight: InSight team members say that no spacecraft has ever “heard”
In the photo: NASA’s Mars Perseverance Rover mission to the Red Planet
InSight’s ultra-sensitive seismograph suite is already in use Hundreds of earthquakes Since the lander landed on a Martian plain called Elysium Planitia in November 2018. InSight team members are using these measurements to map the interior of the Red Planet in unprecedented detail, which is the main goal of the mission.
However, this kind of explanatory work can be tricky.
“Unlike the Earth, you can independently determine when and where [seismic] The source happened, of course how big Mars, We only have one site, and we are all trying to determine the source of wave propagation and planetary structure. “Said Dr. Ben Fernando, the lead author of the study and a member of the InSight team. A student at the University of Oxford in the UK told Space.com.
He added: “It is not necessarily trivial to distinguish the two from each other.” “The simplest explanation is that if you are in the room but cannot see, it is difficult to tell whether someone is speaking loudly or quietly approaching you. Also. , If you don’t know the shape, the space of the room will be more difficult.”
Therefore, the landing of perseverance is a huge opportunity for InSight scientists-an opportunity to collect seismic data generated by the impact, the details of which are known in advance, Fernando and colleagues write in the new study.
Mars in 2020 will adopt the same strategy as the previous Mars Landing, Landing and Landing (EDL) strategy Curiosity Mars Rover, Closed safely in August 2012.
Mars will thin in 2020 Martian atmosphere Hard, slowed down significantly due to friction, and then deployed a supersonic parachute to further slow down. About seven minutes after the atmosphere entered, Rocket-powered crane Will use the cable to gently lower the perseverance to Jezero’s floor, then fly away to deliberately crash and land a safe distance.
The last step will not produce a seismic wave of considerable intensity. But Fernando and his team believe that the other two points in the EDL sequence may generate relatively strong signals.
The researchers say that one such signal will be generated by a sonic boom, which will occur when Mars reaches within about 60 miles (100 kilometers) of the Martian surface in 2020, and that the atmosphere is dense enough to be “enough to substantially compress.” Wrote in the new study.
Some of the energy from the explosion (when the spacecraft enters subsonic speeds, it will disappear three minutes before landing) will hit the surface of Mars and be converted into seismic waves. Fernando and his team used the dissipated influence of the Martian wind as a key factor, but this signal will not be strong enough to be captured by InSight, which is about 2,145 miles (3,452 kilometers) from the permanent landing site.
Another signal will come from the actual surface impact-in fact a double impact. Soon after Mars reaches the atmosphere in 2020, the spacecraft will eject two “cruising mass balance devices” (CMBD) to change its center of mass. Each CMBD weighs 170 pounds. Fernando said (77 kg) will fall from a height, to an altitude of about 900 miles (1,450 kilometers), and will fall to the ground at an estimated speed of 8,700 miles (14,000 km/h).
Mars InSight in the photo: NASA’s mission to probe the core of Mars
It is not yet clear how strong the seismic waves from the CMBD impact will be. InSight has not discovered any confirmed impact on Mars, so it is difficult to predict.But Fernando and his team came up with estimates based on the earth and data collected on the earth moonThese figures indicate that InSight has a good opportunity to measure waves.
The researchers wrote: “In the best-case scenario in reality (and assuming the same weather and noise spectrum as Mars in the same period a year before), the required signal-to-noise ratio is sufficient for a positive detection 40% of the time. A new study has been submitted to (but has not yet been) accepted by the journal Earth and Space Science.You can read the free preprint Here.
This relatively optimistic number may have some luck: the waves generated by CMBD will arrive at InSight in the evening at Elysium Planitia time on the quietest day of the day (the quietest day).
For InSight team members, testing will be a big deal. They will know exactly how far and how fast the seismic waves travel.
Fernando said: “If you know how fast they travel, you can start to calculate the structure through which they travel.”
By the way, Perseverance aims to record its own landing in an unprecedented way.Mars 2020 comes with two microphones, one of them will try Record the dramatic sound of EDL on February 18. (The other is part of Perseverance’s breakthrough SuperCam system.) No Mars spacecraft has successfully recorded the original sound of the “Red Planet” before.
Perseverance is not the only spacecraft planned to land on Mars this year.China’s Astronomy One mission will reach orbit on February 10 If everything goes according to plan, about two months later, the lander and rover will land on the red planet.
Fernando said that the InSight team would love to hear the landing of Astro One. However, the researchers wrote in the paper that the details of the mission, especially its exact landing time and location, are currently difficult to grasp, so it is currently “unable to predict the detectability of the signal.”
The European Russia ExoMars program is launching a The Martian duo will land on Mars in 2022. Fernando said that given that the ExoMars will land on the other side of the earth from InSight, InSight will almost certainly be unable to detect seismic signals from the landing sequence.
SpaceX’s goal is to start flying its next-generation interstellar spacecraft to Mars as soon as possible- Maybe as early as 2024The company’s founder and CEO Elon Musk said. If InSight’s lifespan is long enough, it may be able to record the grounding of one or more of these 165-foot-tall (50-meter) stainless steel spacecraft.
Fernando said: “It’s not impossible.” “It just depends on where they decide to land.”
Mike Wall (Mike Wall) is “outside“(Grand Central Press, 2018; Karl Tate illustration), this is a book about the search for alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook .