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Science Issues: Spying on the Nearest Neighbor of the Earth



"I feel you're Mars – and I will soon know your heart, I'm here with this safe landing, I'm home." These somewhat emotional (and somewhat spooky) words are the first we've heard of the last inhabitant of Mars. After an epic six-month and 450 million-mile ride, the Mars InSight NASA successfully touched the red planet … the magnificent performance of human engineering that is celebrated around the world. InSight is not just a piece of the word. He is also a photographer. Shortly after landing, InSight also tweeted its first glance at Mars. First, it was a somewhat gruff image of the surface planet, with the camera lens still in place. Later, InSight shared a clear view of the Martian landscape around the landing site. If you have not seen Mars yet, make a favor and go to the NASA website and look at the pictures that InSight sends back. Unlike their cousins, different Mars Rovers, InSight is not designed to move. Instead of spending time exploring Martian valleys and mountains or looking for evidence of water, he will park himself in a flat, empty and rather boring region of the planet known as Elysium Planitia. While the placement may not be as spectacular as the areas surveyed on previous missions on Mars, it is a perfect place for InSight to carry out its own special mission. InSights's first task, once all its systems are activated and calibrated, is to expand scientific equipment, including an extraordinarily sensitive seismometer, a tool used to measure ground movements. InSight uses this information to send information about marsquakes (the Mars version of the earthquake). Like Earthquakes, they made Mars a gathering, which helped create the iconic mountains and valleys seen across the planet. Scientists want to know how often these martyds occur, as well as where and how great they are. Over the next two years, they expect InSight to experience hundreds or thousands of earthquakes that can provide valuable information about the materials from which the planet is made. This will provide some insight into how rock formations like Mars have been shaped and changed over time. InSight will not only watch Mars due to an earthquake. It also has the task of drilling deep into the surface of the planet to measure heat from the interior. The data gathered may be able to answer the question whether the kernel is still melted or not. In addition to all these boreholes and marsquake tracking, InSight will collect all other data. It measures wind speed, temperature and atmospheric pressure on the surface of the planet. And, of course, he will send home more famous photos. In one of his early tweets, shortly after arriving at Mars, InSight said, "There's a quiet beauty, we're looking forward to discovering a new home." On Earth, there are plenty of us who look forward to what InSight sees about their closest neighbor of our planet. Read more Science issues: A fresh look at coriander reactions The number of chromosomes is about to have the right balance Zombie ants are a real deal

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