NASA Cube Satellites are ready for Mars, it was recently announced and all space enthusiasts welcomed the news with great joy, as it confirms that we are one step closer to the thorough exploration of space that will bring us unprecedented information about our cosmic home.
The satellites in question are constructed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and contrary to popular belief, they are quite tiny and measure only about 4 square inches. The little satellites, and there are two of them, will send back information in real time and they are going to be launched in the following spring. The mission will bear the name MarCO, an abbreviation of Mars Cube One, and it is part of the InSight program, namely just a small feature of it.
“But MarCO will fly independently to Mars.” Jim Green, who is the leader of this NASA unit, specifically added. There will be a couple of Cube Satellites on the aircraft, coordinating with the InSight program, and they will be launched with the help of a rocket, named Atlas V. After reaching the planet, the cube sats will travel on their own and their first mission will be that of arranging some solar panels and setting up their radio antennas.
The mission will launch from the California based air base, and it has the purpose of studying for the first time seismic investigations, geodesy aspects and heat transport, in order to fully understand the deep structure of the red planet. Researchers think that the delay between the transmitted and the received information will be of about one hour, which is very little and a great progress.
No one can fully predict the outcome of this mission, since this type of action has not been taken before, but everybody is confident that things will work out well and the tragic problems met in the past will not occur again. The Pasadena Technology Institute added that if the mission was successful, there will be further research made on the Red Planet following the return of the InSight lander, making space exploration more and more reachable each time.
Image source: space.com