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56 years of exploration of Mars I to InSight


Mankind has disconcerted the stars, the universe, the planets and, of course, the red planet neighboring the Earth, in particular for centuries.

From the first time that the Italian astronomer, Galileo Galilei pointed his telescope to the sky, the human curiosity about what he was doing was never stopped. Galileo wanted to see far beyond what was possible at first sight. Centuries later and with the help of more advanced technology, humanity embarks on the study of other planets and perhaps a second home.

Is there life out there? Are you living on other planets that will become reality? Is it a human settlement on Mars for the 20 years of the future of humanity?

All these questions prompt us to take a quick look at how the space race began before we could explore the possibility and future of Mars colonization.

Space race: How it all started

It is said that the Second World War was a catalyst for rocket science. In these terms, it is safe to say that the Cold War was a thousand times stronger. It was during the cold war when the space race began.

With the growing threat of nuclear annihilation and fear of a biological war, the US rocket program initially led by Werner von Braun gave birth to a campaign of intelligence and guerrilla design with the its Russian counterpart led by Sergei Korolev.

A large amount of government funding from both sides was devoted to the research, development, and improvement of atomic weapon propulsion systems. Finally, the Soviet Union sent the first artificial satellite in orbit on October 4, 1957: Sputnik I.

The Russians were motivated by their first success for the Americans and continued to bring the first man to the space in 1961. The home of this historic mission, Yuri Gagarin, completed the task in the Vostok I. space capsule

Meanwhile, in the United States, the US space program, initiated in 1958 as a response to the launch of Sputnik I, had been left behind twice consecutively. As you can guess, they were not too happy about that.

In 1958, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was founded and the US launched its artificial satellite I Explorer.

President John F. Kennedy announced that NASA was going to put a man on the Moon at the end of the decade and would return it to Earth safely.

On July 20, 1969, NASA launched the Apollo 11 mission with Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins astronauts who landed safely on the Moon and returned to Earth.

Surveying the surface of Mars

The theodolite that appears next dates from 1875. It was one of the first instruments used for the study of the planet Earth. Since then, the inspection instruments have come a long way. So they made their cartography topics.

More than 120 years after this Theodolite, which is part of the science instruments at the Galileo Museum in Florence, at the beginning of 1998, Mars Global Surveyor of NASA was scheduled to start mapping the surface of the fourth planet of the Sun: Mars

Although the red planet had been mapped before both Americans and Russians, what made the Global Surveyor mission different was that it sent the most detailed images of the Martian surface that had never been extracted from space to Earth.

telescope 1875 galileo museum © susanfourtane
Theodolite for the work of topography, done in brass in 1875, Officine Galileo, Florence / © Susan Fourtané for the interesting engineering

The first missions to Mars

Mars was the first probe sent to Mars. It was launched on November 1, 1962, also by the Russians. Unfortunately, the probe lost all contact with the Earth on March 21, 1963. There were no comments from Mars I, unfortunately.

A year later, on November 5, 1964, NASA launched Mariner 3, the first NASA Mars probe. Unfortunately, he left control too soon in his mission and never achieved that he fulfilled his purpose.

On November 28, 1964, NASA launched Mariner 4. On this occasion, the vessel sent 21 photographs of the densely crushed surface and apparently without a life of the planet and other vital information on Earth. This was the first time that humans could see a first glimpse of how the surface of Mars is seen.

InSight into inner Mars

Perspicacia (InTop exploration using Seismic Meinvestigations, Geodesia i Hfood Transport), currently at Elysium Planitia, Mars, was launched from the base of the Vanderberg Air Force, California on May 5, 2018 and landed on Mars on November 26, 2018.

The scary will study the interior of the planet. Manufactured by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, the US $ 828.8 million dollar administrator will study the early evolution of terrestrial planets.

This exploration is expected to open a window of knowledge on the rocky planets of the internal solar system. This makes InSight more than a Mars mission, although its first objective is Mars.

The mission has been scheduled to last a little over a year in Mars, which is equivalent to about two years of Earth. In days, this would be 709 sols (days of Mars), or 728 days of Earth. The main mission of InSight will end in November 2020.

Earthlings are used to find out about life on the surface of a planet. However, we know well that life on the surface can be hard, especially if the conditions on the surface of this planet are not optimal.

What are the possibilities for planets like Mart to present the organic evolution inside, instead of its surface, how would it be expected?

Scientists have cut the modeling of the planet that they know about the interior of planet Earth. Once, humans thought the Earth was flat. His belief was based on the little knowledge they had at that time. Similar to the little knowledge that has so far been on Mars. You get the point. Things in the interior of Mars could be different from what we think they are.

SpaceX plans to go to Mars

But the dream of a single man is what will make a real difference in the whole history of the human space exploration.

Without a competitive agenda and with the internal motivation that only a true maverick can have, Elon Musk and its SpaceX team will land on Mars and beyond. And with that, making life multiplanetary.

And this is when a completely different new chapter begins in the history of humanity and its dream to populate the stars.

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