For the first time "deep into the interior of Mars"
Human understanding of Mars is "superficial." NASA's Curiosity and Spirit Rover made a large number of photographs on the surface of Mars. The Curiosity also collected some samples for later analysis. The Curiosity can also drill holes but can only drill holes in the top surface of Mars. In addition, the spacecraft conducted a large amount of research on Mars over the sky, photographed many high-resolution photos of the surface of Mars, and conducted research on the Martian atmosphere.
The goal of the "inspection number" is not to "roam" on Mars, but to "immobile". This allowed it to accurately understand the internal conditions of Mars, including the seismic activity (caused by Mars and meteorite impacts), and (by analyzing its shaking) the size and shape of Mars' "nucleus". The name of the "inspection" - Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport - reveals its main task.
Help us understand other planets
The Kepler Astronomical Telescope shows us that terrestrial planets (earth or slightly larger "Super Earth") are very common in the universe. Because they are too distant from the earth, it is very difficult to study them. Therefore, studying Mars will help us to predict the composition and atmosphere of these terrestrial planets. Even in our solar system, studying terrestrial planets helps us understand why they are different. For example, why is there a lot of water on Earth and the water on Mars has disappeared?
NASA said in a statement, “In the rocky planets, the only planet we have studied carefully is the Earth. By comparing the Earth with the interior of Mars, the 'Inspector' team hopes to better understand the solar system. Their understanding may be possible. It helps us to search for exoplanets that are similar to the Earth and to reduce the range of planets that may have extraterrestrial life. Therefore, although the 'Assight number' is a mission to Mars, it is not only a mission to Mars."
"Inspection" may find Martian Earthquake
One of the goals of the Insights, as described above, is to detect the Martian seismic or seismic activity. There have been other tasks before the same work, but unfortunately they all returned. In 1976, NASA launched two spacecraft on the surface of Mars - the Vikings 1 and 2. They also carry seismographs, but the seismographs are on top of the spacecraft. As the seismographs sway in the wind, their data is not very reliable.
Earth's earthquakes are mainly caused by the movement of the crustal plates, but scientists predict that on Mars, the earthquakes will be triggered mainly by volcanoes, cracks in the crust, and meteorite impacts. NASA said that every Mars shock can reveal the internal structure of Mars. By studying how seismic waves pass through different layers of the planet (crust, mantle and core), scientists can infer the depth and composition of different layers. In this sense, the earthquake is equivalent to shooting an X-ray film for Mars.
The NASA antenna will track the position of the "insight number" on Mars from Earth
The "Insight Number" will regularly report its position to NASA's Deep Space Network - a series of giant antennas that communicate with spacecraft in the solar system. The "Insight No." position data accuracy will reach the inch or centimeter level.
NASA stated that “scientists will use information gathered during the ‘Assay’ mission to understand the extent to which Mars flutters in its orbit. This is critical to determine Mars’ nucleus’ size and whether it is a liquid or a solid.”
"Inspection" will reveal the relationship between Mars and Earth
Although scientific research shows that Earth, Moon, and Mars are made up of the same type of material, only detailed research can prove the truth of this hypothesis. The Temperature Probe of the "Insight" will penetrate 16 feet (5 meters) below the surface of Mars - in order to avoid being affected by the temperature of the season. Each "drill" 1.5 feet (50 cm) down, it will send a temperature pulse, and the sensor will then examine the temperature pulse changes.
NASA stated, "If the Martian crust component is a good conductor of heat, such as metal, the pulse decays very quickly. If the Martian crust component is a poor conductor of heat, such as glass, the pulse decays slowly. This tells scientists that with depth Deepening, how fast the temperature rises, and how heat flows inside Mars."
The "Insight" is the first spacecraft launched from the west coast of the United States.
NASA has repeatedly launched spacecraft to Mars, but they all fly from Florida. According to NASA, one important reason is to launch from the East Coast, and it is easier for spacecraft to reach other planets. However, the “Inspector” launch site is at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California because it will use the more powerful Atlas V-401 rocket – even if it is launched from the West Coast. Mars - to air.
NASA stated that “Vandenberg Air Force Base was selected because of its higher availability in the launch window of the 'Inspector' number (from May 5 to early June).”
Two cube satellites and the "inspection number" go hand in hand
On the way to Mars, the “Inspection” is not lonely. There are two young friends who are nicknamed “Wall-E” and “Eve”. Their official name is “Mars Cube One,” a cube satellite that can perform relatively simple tasks such as communication or observing the Earth with a small telescope.
The goal of "Mars Cube One" is to transmit data related to it during landing on Mars. This helps us to learn more about how the spacecraft lands on Mars, which is very important because the spacecraft's landing on Mars always presents various minor problems.
May reveal the mystery of Mars Volcano
There are some very large volcanoes on Mars, especially Olympus Volcano, which is 16 miles (25 kilometers) tall and is three times the size of Mount Everest. It is part of the Talsis volcano plateau. According to NASA, the heat inside Mars has an impact on the formation of the Olympus volcano.
NASA said, "The Thermal Probe 'Exploration' can penetrate depths of 16 feet (5 meters) below the surface of Mars, measuring the heat flow inside Mars for the first time. Combining the heat flow rate with other data obtained from the 'Referencing Number' will reveal The relationship between the surface of Mars and the internal energy."
Mars as a time machine
Earth and Venus, two other terrestrial planets in the solar system, are quite active and many of the past traces have been destroyed. Mars is not the same. According to NASA, the surface of Mars did not change much from 3 billion years ago.
According to NASA, “Because Mars is only about one-third the size of the Earth and Venus, it contains less energy to change the structure of the planet, which makes it a fossil planet in many ways and holds a lot of secrets of the solar system. ”
The data of the "inspection number" will be "eternal"
The design life of the "Inspector" is a Martian year (two Earth years) to track the changes in the interior of Mars during the "four seasons." Many people believe that when a task is over, the related research work is all over. In fact, researchers can archive data for future research.
The data of the "inspection number" can be applied to the earth tectonic plates, exoplanets and other fields. Scientists can conduct further research on their data in the future, when better tools come out.