The UAE’s Hope spacecraft and China’sTianwen-1 have landed on the Mars successfully, next up is NASA’s Perseverance rover, set to land on February 18th.
Ten operational spacecraft are currently in orbit or on the surface of Mars, able to welcome the new rover. But one spacecraft especially, the InSight lander, are going to be listening closely for Perseverance’s dramatic entry, descent and landing – a.k.a. the Seven Minutes of Terror.
Scientists are going to be using InSight’s specialized instruments to, hopefully, devour the sounds of Perseverance’s arrival. Generally, these instruments are used to hear the seismic activity on Mars, also as impacts from meteorites. But the timing of those events aren’t known before time. Ben Fernando InSight team member said that the arrival of Perseverance Rover potentially offers the primary chance to detect a known, planned landing of a far off body on the surface of the Mars.
“There’s a true interest within the InSight team in trying to detect an impression seismically,” Fernando said during a video presentation. “This would be of enormous use and interest for independently checking a number of our understandings of the structure of Mars and also the way that waves propagate through its interior.”
During InSight’s two years on Mars, it’s detected several hundred marsquakes. However, no meteorite impact events are detected. Impact events are of particular interest because they will be constrained in timing and site from pictures taken by orbiting satellites.
Since the precise timing and site of Perseverance’s arrival is already known, attempting to concentrate for the rover are often wont to calibrate seismic measurements.
Fernando told that the noise levels are going to be the most important challenge.
“The landing may be a great distance away, therefore the most vital thing which will determine whether we hear anything is how noisy it’s on the day,” he said via email. Fernando said the team has been ready to determine the locations of a few of Marsquakes, which appear to be in Cerberus Fossae, about 1,700 km (1,056 miles) from the lander. Perseverance are going to be landing in Jezero Crater, about 3,452 kilometers (2,145 miles) faraway from InSight’s location in Elysium Planitia.
The landing of the rover will not listen similarly like what InSight will listen for. One sound propagating through the atmosphere are going to be a shock wave, created because the landing capsule decelerates because it plunges through the Martian atmosphere.
Then, shortly after Perseverance hits the atmosphere, the spacecraft will eject two Cruise Mass Balance Devices (CMBDs) to change its center of mass. These each weigh 77 kilograms (170 lbs.) and can be dropped from an altitude of about 1,459 km (900 miles), hitting the bottom at an estimated 14,000 kph (8,700 mph).
In their paper narrating the experiment, the team says they expect to receive data from InSight within each day or two of Perseverance’s landing, after which they’re going to investigate whether or not they have made a successful detection. ‘This is an incredibly exciting experiment,” Fernando said. “It was the first time that this has ever been tried on another planet, so we’re considerably looking forward to seeing how it seems.”