InSight Lander, one of the most ambitious projects of NASA has ignited its engine for the first time on its way to the Red Planet. The ignition lasted for forty seconds with the help of four out of eight thrusters equipped with the machine. Such ignition is capable of changing its speed to about 8.5 mph. The team members have said that they will make five additional burns before the scheduled touchdown of the Lander on the surface of the red planet by Nov 26. However, the most critical burn has already been conducted.
Mars-bound spacecraft are meticulously checked before they are sent off to ensure that the Red Planet does not get polluted by the Earth’s microbes; however, the rocket they take to the Red Planet remains dirty. In addition to such precautions, it is also taken care of that the spacecraft undergoes a series of trajectory correction procedure so that only the safe spaceship lands on the Red Planet, while the upper stage does not fall on the surface of the Mars.
The remaining for thrusters which were not burnt are also getting to be trained. The primary job of these thrusters is to fire autonomously every day to keep the antenna of the InSight towards the Earth while its solar panel should be facing the Sun. The NASA officials were giving this description. The navigation team of the InSight Lander is entrusted with the job of tracking these background burns very carefully and minutely.
According to Allen Halsell, every member related to this mission has been working very closely to keep a close watch on the changes in the movement due to forces exaggerated by these small objects. Mr. Allen is in charge of the Navigation Team at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of NASA.
The upcoming path movement for the InSight Lander is scheduled on July 28, as per the latest released data. Subsequent dates for executing these burning phenomena have been decided on Oct 12, Nov 11, Nov 18 and lastly Nov 25. The vehicle is going to the northern portion of the Martian Equator, where it will touch down with the help of a parachute on Nov 26.
After that, it will remain on the surface of the Red Planet for a period of two earth years where it will find out the possible reasons for “marsquake” and the trajectory of the heat flow.