Social Media Sidebar

Announcement

Please sign up, comment on articles and bring your friends!

Current poll

PlanetTech is asking:

What do you think about our new web site?

Love it, indeed
Really good solution
Same as old one
The old one was better
This is a new option

Quote of the day

'By far the greatest danger of Artificial Intelligence is that people conclude too early that they understand it'

 

Eliezer Yudkowsky

Faulty instrument delays Mars lander launch

RATE THIS! +24
Posted in Science on 23rd Dec, 2015 08:57 PM by AlexMuller

NASA's next big Mars mission will have to wait due to a faulty piece of equipment. NASA announced that the launch of the Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) lander mission scheduled for March has been scrubbed due to a vacuum leak in the lander's primary instrument.

 

A new launch date has yet to be determined as the lander is returned from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California to the Lockheed facility in Denver. NASA says the launch was abandoned due to a continuing fault with the lander's Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS). Built by France's Centre National d'Études Spatiales, this is a seismometer that is able to detect ground movements on an atomic scale thanks to three main sensors sealed in a vacuum.

 
This seal has been giving engineers problems since a leak in the seal was detected earlier this year. This was repaired and the instrument was declared fit for flight, but when it was tested on Monday in extreme cold reaching minus 49º F (-45º C), the seal failed again. Though not irreparable, NASA says that there isn't time to fix the SEIS and make the launch deadline.
 
Unlike missions to Earth orbit, which have launch windows that can recur every day, and ones to the Moon that can recur monthly, planetary missions involve a complex ballet of two bodies revolving about the Sun. For missions to Mars, the best conditions only appear during a period of a few weeks every 26 months. This means that InSight will be returned from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California to the Lockheed facility in Denver while scientists revisit their calculations for the next opportunity.
 
The InSight stationary lander is based on NASA's Phoenix lander, which set down at the Martian North Pole in 2008, and is designed for a 720-day primary mission near the Martian equator.
 
It has a robotic arm for placing instruments, including hammering a heat-flow meter up to 15 ft (4.5 m) into the ground. Its purpose is not only to study Mars, but also to gain insights into the formation of rocky planets in the inner Solar System.

Tags: MarsspaceNASASEISInSightMars landerhardwareplanet

Read original article » Back to category

Comments



 

Recent headlines

  • Posted in Hardware on 2017-03-23 21:29:30
    A brain-computer interface for controlling VR with your mind..read more
    Posted in Business on 2017-03-23 21:17:44
    One Powerful Way the U.S. Could Boost Solar Adoption..read more
    Posted in Medicine on 2017-03-23 21:12:51
    Old blood can be made young again and it might fight aging..read more
    Posted in Science on 2017-03-22 07:41:30
    'Smallsats' open up new planetary frontier..read more
    Posted in Science on 2017-03-22 07:36:45
    Trump signs NASA funding bill, sets goal of human on Mars..read more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-10 01:33
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in about.....read more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-20 07:17
Spacex says China is their main competitor for commercial.....read more
Posted in Software on 2013-10-20 06:43
Pirate Bay Browser Clocks 1,000,000 Downloads..read more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-10 02:10
Google reportedly investing hundreds of millions into new.....read more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-14 03:13
Endothelial Cells Can Repair and Regenerate Organs,.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Spacex says China is their main competitor for commercial.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Staring at Your Phone Could Be Making You Short Sighted..read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Oculus Rift virtual reality headset coming to mobile, but.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in about.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Delivering drugs via nanoparticles to target mitochondria..read more

Recent Blog Posts

  • Posted by AlexMuller
    Intensive medical treatment can reverse type 2 diabetes..read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Daily consumption of tea protects the elderly from cognitive.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    New analysis method of metabolites accurately predicts whether.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Unproven stem cell 'therapy' blinds three patients at Florida.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Indigenous South American group has healthiest arteries of all.....read more

Login to your Account

Login to your PlanetTech Account here

Username:
Password:
Remember me
or

Create a New Account

You just need username and password

The following errors occured:
Username:
Email:
Password:
Verify password:
Remember me