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它是什么样子火星上的“手表” NASA的洞见土地谁经营飞船的人

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美国宇航局喷气推进实验室晾着

Just before noon on Monday, every person in the Theodore von Kármán Auditorium at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California sat on the cusps of their seats. They stared straight ahead at a video screen showing a live view from inside JPL’s mission control center. On-screen, rows of engineers also sat entranced, transfixed by their computer consoles as a flight controller announced altitude measurements over an intercom.

“海拔高度400米。300米。200米。80米。60米“。

And then, a few moments later, the final call: “Touchdown confirmed.”

Straightaway, the engineers and those in the auditorium erupted into cheers and applause. In jubilation, many threw their hands in the air or threw their arms around their colleagues. Some had come prepared with elaborate celebratory handshake routines. It was the outcome that everyone had been hoping for: NASA’s latest spacecraft had successfully touched down on the surface of Mars, and it had seemingly made it down in one piece.

大家在冯·卡门有礼堂聚集在一起观看,因为这着陆器,所谓的洞察力,达到其最终目的地。不同于一些它的前辈,洞察力不会转来转去的地球表面。它的任务是比较简单的:坐在火星和监听地震。从这些摆动的地震波将有助于行星科学家解码火星的内部结构,类似于超声波如何告诉我们什么是一个人的身体里。线上金莎平台

But it’s been a very long road to get to this point. InSight has been in development for the last decade at Lockheed Martin and JPL, and it suffered an additional two-year delay after engineers found a defect in one of its main instruments. The problem was ultimately fixed, culminating with the lander’s launch this May. The vehicle then traveled through space for the last six and half months, so that it could make the plunge into Mars’ atmosphere on Monday.

Members of the press, planetary scientists, engineers, social media influencers, and even a few celebrities started streaming into JPL early on Monday morning to “watch” the landing live, though we all knew we wouldn’t actuallysee事件 - 至少不会在视觉上。有没有为未来登陆火星的任何相机记录飞船。而且它不会真的是活的,无论是。眼下,光一个信号时间超过八分钟从火星抵达地球。所以,在现实中,我们已经都来that the landing had succeeded from the mission team eight minutes after the touchdown actually occurred.

But despite not having any real-time visuals of the landing, JPL did have something worth the trip: lots and lots of scientists milling about the sunny government campus. Those on the InSight team could be easily spotted, thanks to their matching maroon button-down shirts sporting the InSight mission logo. And they all vibrated with a mixture of jubilance and anxiety. Some of the scientists, including the lander’s principal investigator, Bruce Banerdt, have been working on some form of this mission for decades now, waiting for this day. But a Mars landing is always a scary prospect, with the fear of a crash hanging heavy in the air.

这是因为火星上着陆什么是最糟糕的。相比于地球或月球着陆飞船,火星被认为是“最严重的两个世界。”不像月球,火星有航天器造成加热到激烈的温度的方式向地面,这使得屏蔽要求的气氛。虽然这种气氛确实帮助减缓车辆,空气中还是相当薄 - 约1%的地球大气层密度 - 因此它不会减慢飞船足够. A parachute alone won’t cut it, and thrusters are usually needed as well to lower a vehicle down gently. The heavier a spacecraft becomes, the harder it is to land on Mars.

幸运的是,Insight是仅为789磅相对较轻的飞船和NASA有着几十年的成功与投入更大尺寸的车辆完好火星的表面上。洞察团队设计了着陆器来执行的意思,在短短六年半分钟内完成一个复杂的登陆程序。但即使有多年的准备,有时火星可以得到一个飞船的更好。

在小时领导到着陆,洞察科学家对期望什么,好奇的游客说话。NASA的管理员吉姆·布里登斯蒂娜是在手,也做相机上的谈判回合,而在Insight着陆器的全尺寸模型站在门前。通过这一点,说话是尽全力留占用。观点是或多或少的自动驾驶仪。最后的命令已被发送到着陆器,和球队只能希望他们的辛勤工作将还清。

由于预定着陆走近,大家都在JPL开始洗牌,他们需要的是不同的位置。洞察团队各就各位,在任务控制,而我并聚集到冯·卡门礼堂媒体的其他成员观看了工程师的现场直播。如果一切按计划顺利进行,我们会获得登陆倒计时的东西。随着洞察力,美国宇航局发射两个小卫星叫马可,将尝试发回数据中的目标,因为它发生了。马可孛探针是实验性的,虽然,所以它不是一个,我们就会听到他们的保证。

In the minutes leading up to the landing, we heard a hopeful phrase from mission control: “MarCO Bravo has locked on to carrier. MarCO Alpha has also locked on the carrier.” Mission control exploded into applause. I exchanged a few smiles with other space reporters in the room. “That’s a good sign!” I said, surprised. The MarCO satellites were receiving signals from InSight, and that meant we’d know how every step of the landing process would go, which is a luxury past Mars missions didn’t have.

从这一点上来说,这是一条坦途 - 为洞察力和我们在礼堂。由于马可孛卫星,我们有充分的大事的确认。当部署InSight的降落伞,房间鼓掌。当锁定到地面雷达,大家都欢呼起来。然后,当它是远离表面仅有数米,所有人都屏住了呼吸,直到我们得到了最后的通话。

Hours later, the same von Kármán Auditorium was packed with InSight team members, press, and fans. The top scientists and InSight project manager Tom Hoffman walked in, hands raised in triumph, while the audience cheered and clapped. Hoffman thanked all of the scientists and engineers in the room who worked countless hours to make a six-and-a-half-minute landing possible. “You were working on Thanksgiving, but not just Thanksgiving,” he said. “You’ve missed a lot of different holidays and important events to make this a success. And today, it was all worth it.”