Skip to main content

tv   NASA TV In Sight Mars Landing  CSPAN  December 2, 2018 6:35pm-8:01pm EST

6:35 pm
indiana productivity is from manufacturing. we have facilities there and people there. i think we've taken a knife try and improve the kinds of skills that people have. >> representative elect, jim baird, thank you. >> thank you >> when the new congress takes office in january, it will have youngest, most diverse freshman class in recent history. new leaders, catch it live on january nasa's tvll look at landing of the insight
6:36 pm
touchdown on mars. it touched down in may and planet lasthe red monday. it displays the first images surface of mars.
6:37 pm
welcome to mission control at the jet propulsion laboratory. an hour from now insight will begin the most hovering six and half minutes of the mission. who knows what mars has in store today? the mission support area is filled with engineers monitoring the situation, and for the first time during the landing, you can be in the room, too. we have a 360-the great camera and the control allowing you to experience the landing right along with the team. there you see it. to look up the link, go to the insight watch page you see on the screen. this mission has actually to control rooms. the second is at lockheed martin just outside of denver,
6:38 pm
colorado. people all over the world are tuning in at museums and libraries and other locations, including this one at the pasadena convention center. that is where friends and family are watching right now. there will also be an opportunity -- watch in new york city, there they are cheering -- there will also be an opportunity to watch in new york city when the landing coverage gets displayed on the nasdaq tower in times square.
6:39 pm
this is your first mars landing. >> in this job. i have witnessed these from the sidelines for many years. this is going to be a time you a successful landing on mars. everybody knock on wood. this is the first time to participate as the administrator. >> excited? nervous? >> not nervous. look at the amazing people here. >> all right, we have to have you back on set after landing and take a couple social-media questions. if you would like to ask the administrator a question use #asknasa. you did ask about the lucky peanuts, so this is your bottle to take in there. >> happily munching on these. >> all right, thanks for joining us. let's give you some background. insight is short for interior exploration using seismic investigations, geodesy, and heat transport. it is different from other mars missions, which all study the surface. insight is the first mission to study the interior of the red planet.
6:40 pm
>> the basic idea of insight is to map out the deep structure of mars. we know a lot about the surface of mars, we know about its ionosphere, but we don't know about below the surface. this is the first mission to investigate the deep inside of mars. >> we know that the earth's ings habit winner that mars is not. or might be something we find out in terms of the structure of mars versus the structure of earth that maybe can help us understand why that is. >> insight carries a seismometer which measures seismic waves and maps of the deep interior structure of mars. >> we will have a physical properties program which will penetrate into the mars surface about five meters from 16 feet, to take the temperature of mars. >> it has a radio science exterminate which uses the radio
6:41 pm
on the spacecraft to measure small variations in the wobble of mars' pole to understand more about the structure and composition of the court. >> insight will be the first mission to pick instruments off the deck and place them on the surface of mars. i like to say that we are playing the claw game on mars with no joystick. >> we also have a wind and thermal shield that will be placed on top of that to protected further from the environment. >> for the heat probe, it also needs to sit in one place, take a while to hammer itself down into the ground and acquired the thermal measurements over a long period of time. >> insight is a mission to mars, but it is much more than a mars mission. it is something like a time
6:42 pm
machine. it is measuring the structure of mars put in place 4.5 billion years ago, so we can go back and understand the processes that warmed mars shortly after it was accreted from the solar nebula. by studying mars, we will learn more about earth, venus, mercury, even exoplanets around other stars. >> landing on mars is always difficult. more than half the missions fail. experts in this field are systems engineers for entry, defense, and landing. let me introduce you to two in our control room. christine will be making the mission callouts during landing and julie is our color commentator who will help explain mission operations. christine, let's start with you. i understand that there was a final software update and adjustment. what does that mean? >> that's right, yesterday we sent the last software parameter
6:43 pm
update to the spacecraft computer. this update told the spacecraft exactly when it will hit the top of the atmosphere and also find-tuned things like when to deploy the parachute. this software is very important because insight uses the software to perform entry, descent, and landing completely on its own. mars is so far away from earth that when a command is sent it takes eight minutes to reach the spacecraft. insight has to do this all by itself. >> all right, its fate is sealed. i understand that the team is about to do a readiness pull. >> that is going to be a pole to the communications engineer and the orbiters and antennas we have on earth. we have marco listening in on us, and our reconnaissance orbiter will be listening to the data and recording it for us,
6:44 pm
and then the radio science engineers will be eavesdropping in honor signal all the way back on earth. our edl communications engineer will be checking in on that and making sure that they are ready to go and ready to support us in under an hour on mars. >> all right, we're standing by for that readiness pole. i understand that the peanuts are going to be packed in there pretty soon. >> that is the idea. we will be passing on the peanuts after that. for those of you who don't know, they are a tradition that gives us a little bit of extra luck on the critical events. if anyone wants to join in and give us extra good vibes, we would love to have it. >> there is a story behind that that way back when in the early days, there were several missions, six ranger missions to the moon that failed.
6:45 pm
but then with ranger seven, somebody passed around peanuts. >> and it worked. and you don't mess with what works. it is a tradition. we just give ourselves a little bit of extra luck. >> if you have peanuts at home, please have some. nasa has had seven successful mars landings, but the edl team never becomes overconfident. jpg chief engineer says that things have to work just right during six and a half critical minutes. >> although we have done it before, landing on mars is hard, and this mission is no different. the process to get from the top of the atmosphere of mars to the surface is called entry,
6:46 pm
descent, and landing, or edl. it takes thousands of steps to go from the top of the atmosphere to the surface, and each one has to work perfectly to be a successful mission. the process starts well above the top of the atmosphere of mars. it also has its radio which faces earth. but now we don't need the cruise stage. its job is done. the next step just seven minutes before rising to the top of the mars atmosphere is to separate the cruise stage. before you hit the top of the atmosphere, the space capsule has to orient itself so the heat shield is precisely facing the atmosphere. now the fun begins. the vehicle is moving at nearly 13,000 miles an hour. it is hitting the top of the atmosphere at a very shallow angle, 12 degrees. any steeper, the vehicle will hit the part of the atmosphere and burn up. any shallower, the vehicle will bounce off the atmosphere of mars. at the top of the atmosphere it is 70 miles above the surface of
6:47 pm
mars, and the air is starting to get thicker and thicker. as it does that, the temperature of the heat shield gets well over a thousand degrees centigrade. the vehicle decelerates at a backbreaking 12 earth g's, and about 10 miles above the surface of mars, supersonic parachute is launched out of the back of the vehicle. it is time to get rid of the heat shield. six pyrotechnic devices fire simultaneously, allowing the heat shield to fall and tumble away from the vehicle, exposing the lender to the surface of mars. 10 seconds after the heat shield is dropped from three pyrotechnically deployed legs are released unlocked for landing. a minute later, the landing radar is turned off sending pulses towards the surface of
6:48 pm
mars. the vehicle starts to try to measure how high it is about the surface and how fast it is going. and about a mile above the surface of mars, the lender falls away and lights the center. very quickly the vehicle must rotate out of the way so the parachute does not come down to hit it. the last thing that has to happen is that on the moment of contact, the engine has to shut down immediately. if they don't, the vehicle will tip over. if all the steps of entry, descent, and landing happened perfectly and we are safely on the surface of mars, we will be ready to do exciting new science. >> meantime, let me introduce you to someone who has been working on insight for seven years. he is the project manager. seven years, and today's the day. >> that's right, seven years, but we are a little over 40 minutes now and we will be on
6:49 pm
the surface and it will be awesome. all worth it. >> so let's talk about insight. using tried-and-true technologies from this time there is a bigger challenge with communications, correct? normally we have an orbiter that can give us communications, but it is different this time. >> most of the time when we have landed recently we have the odyssey and we get real-time data as we go through edl. we have come to expect that and we really, really want that. in this case the primary orbiter is the mars reconnaissance orbiter. it will be listening to us on uhf. it will be listening to us and getting all the primary data, and it will send it back to us unfortunately about three hours after we land. >> so it does not give the live information. >> we have a couple of other sources we're looking at. the max planck observatory in germany.
6:50 pm
for those give us a couple points in time. we get something cool this time. hopefully these are both working great today. we hope they will continue to work all the way through edl, and they will be giving us a real-time feed. we will show how that works on the video there. you can see insight getting close to mars. >> marco is basically trying to fill the gap that we would have had if we have live communication coming down to us. so if that doesn't work, does it affect insight's mission at all?
6:51 pm
it will call back and say, "hey, pretty good, everything looks good so far." >> also to prep the audience, even after the landing we are not out of the woods just yet. >> not just yet. quite literally we are going to kick up a lot of dust on land. we want that to settle before we unfurl our solar rate. we are 100% solar powered. both mro and marco will be out of view by the time we have is completely unfurled. we will have to wait 5.5 hours until odyssey comes by and says
6:52 pm
that our solar rays are out. we will have a celebration when we get the successful landing, but we will have to temper that just a bit and wait 5.5 hours to make sure we are in good shape. >> we have immediate knowledge, so just to run it through once again, what will happen with edl? how is this going to play out in six and a half minutes? >> you can see we are attached to the cruise stage. thank you for the ride to mars. it burns up in the atmosphere. you can see it gets very hot on our heatshield. in some places maybe 3000 degrees fahrenheit as we go through this. we are on the heatshield for about four minutes. that dissipates 90% of the energy. then we popped our parachute and we are going 860 miles an hour. we're on that for about two minutes. we drop off the heatshield.
6:53 pm
we start acquiring the ground without radar like an f-16 jet radar. the descent thrusters, we have 12 of them. 68-pound thrusters dropping us to the ground and slowly, slowly we drop down going only five miles an hour. 6.5 minutes of tear, a little less than the seven minutes, which is great for me. 75 miles about the surface of mars. we get to the surface for 5.5 miles an hour. >> before we go, there is a couple of pictures to show you. we have watch parties taking place all over the country. see if we can put those up for you to see. this is ohio. this is a person who has a watch party in a classroom. isn't that great? both are watching with us. >> people all across the globe are watching this. >> i will let you back.
6:54 pm
i know you are excited. take care. thanks for joining us. >> thank you. >> ok, let's introduce you to the people who built insight. lockheed martin outside of denver -- they built viking in 1976 and mars phoenix in 2008. the operations team is there, and the lockheed insight edl manager is standing by.
6:55 pm
>> we are about half an hour from entry, and the start of entry to landing, so the team is excited and focused but also very excited about the upcoming successful landing we are getting close to. >> we talked about the fact that insight is based on tried-and-true technologies, but you had to make a couple of changes for insight. what were they? >> obviously, as you said we leveraged phoenix a lot. there is a lot of great things to take from the phoenix mission, but insight is a unique mission. it is landing towards the equator of mars, and a number of things are different. we are 1.5 kilometers higher in altitude. in addition, what that has required us to do is come in a little more shallow. in addition, we are a little bit heavier than phoenix was, so we had to increase some of the strength of the lander itself. we deployed parachute a little
6:56 pm
bit higher because of some of the differences in the entry timeline. and because of when we are landing, we are landing towards the end of dust season. we are about a quarter-inch thicker on the heatshield to accommodate the potential sandblasting upon landing. a number of things have changed, but we have leveraged a lot from the successful phoenix mission as well. >> that is fantastic. you were able to customize it. there were concerns earlier on that there was a dust storm taking place, it was dust storm season. >> that's right. we have had a lot of great support from our orbiting assets -- mro and odyssey, problem spacecraft we are partnered with that were built here at lockheed martin. they have provided great insight into the weather on mars and dust storms on mars. the last couple weeks, on the surface of mars we are anticipating a nominal seasonal weather in terms of density, atmosphere, as well as temperature, dust storms appear
6:57 pm
to be very benign. we are very optimistic it is a great day for landing on the surface of mars. >> all right, great news. thanks, tim, and i know your teen is getting excited as much as we are. >> absolutely. thanks a lot. ok. >> the time is 11:21. the tension is building in both control rooms. it is 20 minutes before separation. the separation is expected about 40 minutes past the hour, so we are indeed getting close. where is insight going to mars? it is a place called elysium phoenicia. it is located near the equator north of gale crater, not too far from curiosity rover. the team calls it the biggest
6:58 pm
parking lot on mars. it is a place that is safe, got plenty of sunshine, that will power solar instruments to study the interior of mars. >> what is inside mars? we know a lot about what is inside earth, but on mars we have scratched the surface. to learn how mars formed, we have is that deep interior. nasa's insight lander was designed to do just that by taking the planet's vital signs, listening to its poles for seismic activity, including marsquakes, taking its temperature to see how much heat is flowing from inside, and checking its reflexes to see how much the planet wobbles as it cooks around the sun. these provide clues to what the planet is like inside. what is inside mars? insight can help us out by
6:59 pm
giving mars its first thorough checkup since it formed 4.5 billion years ago. the more we learn, the better we will understand the planets and the history of our solar system. >> joining us now is the principal investigator of mars insight. insight is a mission to mars, but we keep hearing again and again it is more than a mission to mars. >> that's right, we are to study the martian interior and map out the position inside mars, but we want to use the information to understand more about the solar system as a whole and how the rocky planets form. >> and rocky planets -- we have an image to show, folks. we're talking about earth, the moon, mars. >> the planets of the inner solar system that are made mostly of rock. they show the same basic structure with the dense iron core, rocky mantle, and then
7:00 pm
because of lighter silicate rocks. the very detail of the thickness of those layers, the sizes and the compositions give us a lot of clues as to how those planets form and why they went down different paths into the different planets we see today. >> explain to me -- we are going to have a lander. you are going to be on the surface. how will you be able to study interior? >> we use what are called the geophysical instruments that use the principles of physics to see through the rocks. we used seismic waves, the same way you might use a flashbulb to take pictures of something. we are using marsquakes, which send out vibrational waves to the planet, and as they go through the planet, they reflect
7:01 pm
off boundaries and change their velocity. it changes the wiggles you see on a seismogram, when we go through the planet. we can see it hits the various boundaries and the waves are reflected. it becomes a pretty complicated pattern. but scientifically we have learned over the last 100 years how to interpret the code of the signals as it comes back up to the surface and the seismometers pick up that signal and turn it into data we can use on earth to understand what the 3-d structure is of the planet. >> normally you use three seismometers. in this case you are bringing five. how are you going to be able to get that information using one?
7:02 pm
>> well, we had to get kind of clever. you could use multiple seismometers to triangulate in on where the earthquake is. on mars, we are going to do something a little different. we are going to use not only the p and s waves, but we will use the surface waves. you can see these moving out from the marsquake, and as it passes over the insight lander, you can see the seismograph in the upper left-hand corner where you have the wiggles. mars is not so large. they still have a fair amount of amplitude. they've not gotten completely amped out by the time they get around the planet. finally, even the other way around the planet, it comes across and hits a third time. so we have extra information over just the p and s waves. we have the surface wave arrivals that we can use to pinpoint the distance of mars quake to the lander. then you use something called polarization analysis to figure out which direction the waves are coming from. >> very quickly, there is another instrument that is also being carried up by insight.
7:03 pm
can you talk a little bit about that? >> that is our heat flow probe. it is a pretty cool instrument that uses mechanical mold to burrow its way down into the surface. it has a motor that winds up the hammer and knocks itself down a few millimeters and a time. we do that 20,000 or 30,000 hammer strokes and we hope to get down about 16 feet below the surface. once we are down there, we are measuring the heat coming out of the planet by measuring the temperature along the cable as it comes to the surface, and looking at how the temperature increases as we go down and extrapolate that deep into the planet to understand how much energy there is inside the planet to drive the geology and marsquakes and all kinds of activity. >> it is amazing how much you learn from the surface about the interior. >> it is amazing and it's been something i've been working on my whole professional career. i find it fascinating.
7:04 pm
>> all right, we will talk about that. thanks, bruce. bruce thought of the mission like this, as he mentioned, 40 years ago when he was a graduate student. the rest of the team hasn't waited quite that long, but this is a big moment for them, too. recently we sat down with a few of the members and asked what it is going to be like as we get close to landing. >> it's a very difficult thing to do, and everything has to go perfectly. as humans we sent in 17 different missions to the surface of mars and 10 of them have crash. before we can land on mars, we have to get to mars. how do we get to mars? >> the main responsibility of the navigation team is to ensure that the spacecraft delivered to the right point, the top of the martian atmosphere. accuracy is comparable to shooting a basketball from the
7:05 pm
staples center in downtown l.a. and hitting nothing but net, a hoop in new york city that is moving at a speed of two feet per second. >> it is about 60 miles long and we can land anywhere in that ellipse. we don't have any control over that and that makes me nervous. >> we have tested pieces of the heat shield. we tested the parish and placing it in a wind tunnel. putting that together in a tightly controlled sequence where every single thing has to go right, we have never tested that. the first time it is going to happen is when it delivers us to mars. >> it is about 11:29 a.m. pacific, and you are watching live coverage of the insight landing from the nasa's jet propulsion laboratory in pasadena, california. we are about a half-hour away from landing, and people all over the world are watching.
7:06 pm
take a look at the map we have or you. this is a watch-in-person map, where people have watch parties all over the world, in paris, berlin, even off the coast of madagascar. folks in the big apple be watching today. the nasdaq tower will switch over to landing coverage for about an hour. that means people in times square can watch, too. and later today nasa will have the honor of ringing the closing bell, and that will be a little over an hour from now. if you are watching, take a picture and send it to us using #marslanding. here is one. i believe it is from the california science center in los angeles, and i am told mayor eric garcetti will be visiting later today. things are getting more active for the team now. let's check back in with julie chen in the control room.
7:07 pm
what is going on, julie? >> we have heard from mro a couple of times, that's mars reconnaissance ordinance. they are doing great. we have heard from both marcos, both a and b, and they are out there. they are doing great. everybody is ready to go. we're pretty excited. >> fantastic. we will check back in with julie in a moment. this is a good time to tell you more about the technology experiment we've been telling you about, marco. insight does not have an orbiter in position to send the edl data back live, so the cube test hopes to fill that gap. here is how that will work. >> communicating between mars and earth requires complicated choreography with everything in the right place at the right time. sometimes hours can pass before information is relayed from one
7:08 pm
planet to the other. that is why the rocket will carry two tiny satellites on a technology test of their own. meet mars cube one, marco, nasa's first cube mission to deep space. they will test out new miniaturized technologies. if they make it to mars, they could relate information back to earth about insight's descent and touchdown, and do it in mere minutes. although this is not crucial to the success of the lander, this test could change the way future spacecraft phone home. >> all right, let's check back with julie to see if the marcos are ready to support and listen for insight. julie, what do you know? >> so, they are ready to go. i haven't heard it coming up yet, but they are ready to go and they are both healthy and both doing great, which is wonderful news.
7:09 pm
i think they should -- actually, i think they should be doing it in just a minute. >> we will stand by and listen, then.
7:10 pm
>> all stations, we can confirm we are entry minus 20 minutes. the star tracker has been powered off.
7:11 pm
>> the nav2 software has been initiated, so when we are in cruise, we use the star tracker in a similar manner to how sailors used them years ago. now that we are close enough to mars, we don't need that anymore, so we are going to transition to nav 2 software, and that let's us basically use velocity and acceleration, so we don't need to star tracker right now. >> marco clarify. >> appropriate attitude for bent pipe. bent pipe mode will be entered shortly. >> ok, thank you very much. >> and that was obviously our confirmation, so that is great news. >> fantastic.
7:12 pm
>> so i was saying before that the nav2 software will propagate from here on out, so we have powered of our star tracker and everything is looking great. >> ok, thanks, julie. all right, the cruise stage separation is just about four minutes away. joining us now, rob, the chief engineer at jpl and an absolute veteran of mars landings. we are going to play a little video for you now. you haven't seen it yet, but we will roll it. >> lander is still alive. >> there you are. you were the phase lead. [laughter] >> yeah. that is what it looks like when it is successful. >> yes. >> i hate to see what it would
7:13 pm
have been like if i wasn't successful. >> but talk about that. what is edl like? why is it so hard? >> well, it is many years of work by many, many people, who struggle to put all the pieces together, and particularly because we cannot test the landings on this planet. it is much more complicated. mars has a lower atmosphere, thinner atmosphere, less gravity. so imagine you had a big broadway production you cannot do the show until all the audience shows up. that is what it feels like. you never really know if you have really done it right. >> well, we have done it seven times. can we say that, hey, piece of cake, we know how to do it? >> no, i don't think so. we get better of it, no doubt. we have learned from both our successes and failures, including failures of other missions outside the country.
7:14 pm
those pieces come together in our mind's eye, and we try to put what we learned together and just do the best we can. if we don't succeed, we will have learned, because we're collecting data on the way down. if something bad happens today, we will be able to take what we learned, even if we may fall on the ground kicked off the horse, we get back up and see what we did wrong and get back on the horse. >> there is a lot of uncertainty. very quickly, give us some possible scenarios of what could happen during edl today, especially during communication. >> the great news of having communication -- almost anything can go wrong, there is a very good chance we will figure it out. things like the parachute has to go right. you don't open parachutes on earth going mach 1.5 times the speed of sound. you don't do that. you don't need to on this planet. but we have to because if we wait longer we will be on the ground. a very complicated radar system
7:15 pm
has to work from outer space all the way to the ground. what if it locked up on the heatshield? we tried to avoid that problem, we've fixed that problem to prevent it from happening. and like that happen and the vehicle could have things bad happen. >> getting close. cruise stage separation.
7:16 pm
>> go ahead. >> at this time mro will have loaded their electric sequences. marco is expecting carrier lock any time. marco-b has reported the bent pipe. still waiting on a. >> copy that, thank you. >> science report, uhf carrier detected. >> edl -- [applause] >> marco bravo has locked on the carrier. marco alpha has also locked on carrier. [applause]
7:17 pm
>> as expected, the dsn has los. >> copy that, thank you. >> all station inside systems, dsn has lost the signal from insight, indicating expected cruise stage separation. standing by for uhf signal acquisition via marco or radio science.
7:18 pm
>> we are about five minutes from entry and have confirmation we have lost the signal from insight. this was expected because we have transitioned from the antenna on the cruise stage to the uhf antenna on board the spacecraft. ground stations have detected the uhf signal and marco has locked on the signal. this confirms that insight is transmitting uhf signals as expected. insight's telemetry through the marco relay is not expected until about two minutes before entry. >> so that is exactly what we were hoping to hear, that -- >> the vehicle has performed the turn to entry maneuver. the vehicle is turning away from a sun-pointing altitude and oriented itself to enter the martian atmosphere. >> wow, this is a big first step. just getting the cruise stage
7:19 pm
separated, it is the vehicle turning itself to the right orientation. the cruise stage is now going to be further and further away. until it's about three or four football fields away. it will burn up in parallel as the vehicle enters mars. >> christine mentioned turned to entry. what does that mean? >> because the cruise stage has to be pushed off to one side, the rest of the vehicle has to turn to face the atmosphere. and to be dead-on as it hits the top of the atmosphere. >> this is taking all the heat coming into the atmosphere. >> exactly, it will be a source of drag but also thermal protection, because it gets over 1500 degrees celsius on the heat shield. very, very hot. but on the inside of the heat shield, it may be only a few degrees above room temperature. it is a wonderful protective device to keep our lander safe. >> all right, the next thing we are standing by for is? >> is entry. top of the atmosphere, gradually
7:20 pm
slowing down. right now the vehicle is just now beginning -- very soon will be beginning to feel the atmosphere touching it. actually, entry is above the atmosphere slightly, so it is a half minute or so after entry before we start really detecting the fact that the atmosphere is slowing it down. >> all right, we will be standing by. >> exciting.
7:21 pm
>> entry is scheduled for 11:47. the entry times are locked in, correct? >> they are. they are locked in. when selected the target and aim to the vehicle precisely. that allows them to know exactly the entry point, 35 to 55 kilometers from the center of mars. >> we know those times are locked in, but what about the other events that take place? >> dropping carrier power is expected. >> marco a and marco b have telemetry. [applause]
7:22 pm
>> you just heard both marcos have telemetry. >> they are doing their job. relaying 1s and 0s with a few seconds lag from the vehicle up to these two vehicles, and they forward them back to earth to the deep space network using the expand antenna. >> keep in mind, this was all an experiment. we weren't sure this was going to work, but we had this need that we did not have live communication in this particular mission. >> we don't really need communication, we don't really need their information except if something goes wrong. we have other -- >> we are receiving insight telemetry via the marco relay. [applause] >> fantastic. >> watch the data flowing onto their screens. >> this data will provide detailed information about the state of the spacecraft throughout edl.
7:23 pm
>> we were on pins and needles waiting for that because we weren't really sure. >> this is wonderful news. if this continues working all the way to the ground and beyond, we might even see a first picture from the surface of mars. >> wouldn't that be great? >> atmospheric entry on my mark. 3, 2, 1, mark. >> here we go. >> so in a few seconds, the vehicle will start sensing the atmosphere. i said 35, it's 22 kilometers from the center of mars. it will start to slow down very slowly at first, but then faster and faster and faster, until it reaches about seven g's. i make that mistake on the video. it is seven g's, not 12. but it will very, very quickly slow down. from 15 -- >> in approximately one minute, insight is expected to reach its maximum heating rate. plasma blackout is possible
7:24 pm
during peak heating and could cause a temporary drop out of telemetry. this could last for as long as two minutes. >> yeah, the gas that comes off the heat shield as it is slowing down, it looks like a meteor if you are on mars watching the streak go by. that brightness of gas does interfere with the radio reception, so it is possible that marco will lose the signal while it's going through this very hot entry. >> but not to be alarmed. >> not to be alarmed, it is a part of the design we completely expected. >> plasma blackout is expected. >> ok. wow. >> ground stations have reported plasma blackout. still receiving insight telemetry via marco. >> marco alpha has carrier interruption. >> insight should now be experiencing the peak heating rate.
7:25 pm
portions of the heat shield may reach 3000 degrees fahrenheit as it protects the lander from the heating environment. >> that is hot. >> carrier interruption but still in lock. >> insight has passed through peak deceleration. telemetry shows the spacecraft saw about eight g's. >> marco alpha and marco bravo -- >> radio science reports carrier detected.
7:26 pm
>> several different communications coming in. >> insight is now traveling at a velocity of 2000 meters per second. >> seems to have passed this very critical point of peak heating, and peak deceleration. the next big step is parachute inflation. >> and we can see that on our timeline at the bottom of the screen. the next event is parachute deploy. >> insight is now traveling at 1000 meters per second. once insight slows to about 400 meters per second, it will deploy its 12 meter diameter supersonic parachute. the parachute will deploy nominally at about mach 1.7. standing by for parachute deploy.
7:27 pm
>> radio science reports sudden change in doppler. >> ground stations are observing signals consistent with parachute deploy. [applause] >> marco alpha, marco bravo maintain lock status. >> telemetry shows parachute deployment. radar powered on. [applause] heatshield separation commanded. >> this is really good news so far. >> fantastic. >> i'm on pins and needles.
7:28 pm
>> we have radar activation, where the radar is beginning to search for the ground. once the radar locks on the ground, and insight is one kilometer above the surface, the lander will separate and begin terminal descent using its 12 descent engines. altitude convergence. the radar has locked on the ground. >> yes! [applause] >> standing by for lander separation. >> carrier interruption on marco alpha and marco bravo. >> lander separation commanded.
7:29 pm
altitude 600 meters. gravity turn, altitude 400 meters. 300 meters. 200 meters. 80 meters. 60 meters. 50 meters. constant velocity. 37 meters. 30 meters. 20 meters. 17 meters. standing by for touchdown. touchdown confirmed. [applause]
7:30 pm
>> wow. >> that's fantastic. >> never gets old. >> no, it doesn't. control room just erupted. >> fabulous, fabulous. >> there's marco team there. >> what a great team. this is really fabulous. >> fantastic news. >> thank you.
7:31 pm
>> lots of fist bumping going on in there. what a relief. we head over to the camera over in times square. boy, people are weathering the rain to see this. chattering] >> this is the hardest part. the thing has a lot more to do, though.
7:32 pm
a lot more will go on both today and in the days that follow before the science can begin. but just getting a vehicle from earth to the surface of mars is no mean feat. >> could you talk about that? i mean, just the mere accomplishment we are seeing. >> you have to understand, this vehicle is very complicated. it is using 12 engines. each of those engines pulse 10 times a second, releasing these tiny impulses almost like little bullets that keep the vehicle going at a constant velocity as it approaches the ground, and still going over five miles an hour. so those legs feel a fair amount of crush. we still don't know the state of the vehicle right now. we need to make sure there are no rocks nearby and the solar panels in about five to 10 minutes will begin to open up and wait for the dust to settle, because there is certainly a lot
7:33 pm
of dusting lifting in the air around the vehicle right now, which is now just settling. >> so we are standing by after touchdown. it waits a couple of minutes. and so we are standing by for that. it is a communication that comes directly to earth from insight. >> and to the deep space network. insight might be able to relay an image or a partial image taken just a few -- a couple minutes after landing. so, i'm standing by hoping to see that. if that doesn't happen, we will certainly get more images later. im about five hours. >> we see bruce banner waiting for it. i don't know if they see it yet. >> they are waiting. bruce banner, looking carefully at the camera to see what they might see. they are waiting for the image to come back.
7:34 pm
>> so this is the first image from insight itself. >> correct. >> insight is taking a picture with one of its two cameras. it's probably a view of what is directly in front of the spacecraft, right in front of the lander. this is a camera that it would be using to figure out if this is a good space, a good place to put down our instruments. so, it is going to take an image and send that image to the marcos. the marcos in turn will relay it back down to earth. him [cheers and applause] him >> let's wait to see what they saw. there it is. wow. wow. [cheers and applause] >> i don't see a lot of -- don't see a lot of -- >> let's explain that image.
7:35 pm
this image has a dust cover on himthis image has a dust cover on top of it. >> we have lost the signal from marco. >> you can see potentially a lot of -- >> [indiscernible] >> we don't know what we're looking at. yay, marco. [applause] congratulations. oh, there it is. you can see a better view. you can see that really is debris. there is the horizon back there. the bluish sky. that is part of the lander deck. i can't make it out but it looks like there's not a lot of rocks, but those dots you see are likely to be dust particles on the lint, the dust cover. which will be removed. >> it will get another shot later on. >> yes.
7:36 pm
a better, clearer view after the dust cover is removed. insight -- sorry, the relay communications job is done. they are taking pictures back towards mars. hopefully mro, which flew overhead, might have been lucky enough to capture the descent of this insight lander on its parachute, while this is going on, mro is flying overhead recording the data, also monitoring the transaction and recording, every signal is good. later for the curiosity rover, we might be able to see the parachute inflated. >> that is fantastic.
7:37 pm
here we are standing by now. saying i am here. i'm ok. [indistinct chatter] >> science reports carrier detected. [applause] >> [indiscernible] >> copy that, thank you. >> flawless.
7:38 pm
>> perfect. >> flawless. this was a perfect-case scenario. >> this is what we really hope we imagined in the minds eye. sometimes things work out in your favor. we will have to look at the data to see how well it went. it certainly looks like it was a successful and perfect landing. we will have to see as we get more data how well things go. as the vehicle proceeds the solar panels will be deployed. hope., we we will get confirmation around 5:00 local time here in about 4.5 hours from now. >> and this is such a difficult feat because of the one-way
7:39 pm
lifeline, there is no way any of these engineers could possibly control the vehicle. it all has to be done in commands and software. >> we have to train it to do the work on its own. >> rangers science reports carrier, 30 seconds past the first acquisition. we are on the surface. >> the vehicle is completely nominal. it is happy. the lander is not complaining. we had a way to tell us if it is unhappy. and it was not. it is not unhappy. it is in a normal mode. shuttle on for the rest of the afternoon on mars. >> i know you are anxious to get in. thank you so much for sitting here and helping us out. >> thank you. all right, i will let you go.
7:40 pm
go in congratulate your friends. take care. >> thank you. [indistinct chatter] >> recording completed at 20:04:34. [indistinct chatter] >> all right.
7:41 pm
as we had promised, we said we
7:42 pm
would bring back the administrator to get your take on what it was like to get into the control room. what is it like? >> it was intense and you could feel the emotion. it was very quiet when it was time to be quiet. and of course celebratory with every new piece of information received. it is very different being here than watching it on tv by far, i can tell you that for sure now that i have experienced them both. the main thing is as soon as it was over, i got a call on my cell phone. the phone number was all zeros. it has got to be someone important, so i answered it and it was a vice president. he watched the whole thing. he was ecstatic about the program. he is a chairman of the national space council. he has been a keen advocate for what we do. to have him call within seconds
7:43 pm
of mission success -- just so everyone knows, he wants me to say congratulations to everyone here at nasa and all the international partners and everyone who has contributed to this mission. what an amazing day for nasa. >> it is an amazing accomplishment in that this is something that is happening millions and millions and millions of miles away and these people are able to do it. >> incredible. what is fascinating is the whole time watching and i'm thinking every milestone is something that happened eight minutes ago, because that is the time it takes to get a signal from mars to earth. it is exciting, but then you have to step back and realize this has already occurred in history. it is a unique experience. incredible. and the enthusiasm here is incredible. >> so what about the future? 2020? >> let's get through december.
7:44 pm
we think about what is happening next. december 3 we are launching another american ash not to the international space station. the last time we launched a rocket was not successful. it was scary. we figured out what the problem was and we are moving forward now we have that underway december 3. the first science data back from the parker solar probe on december 7. that is not too far away, either. then we have osiris rex in orbit around christmas. no shortage of exciting things. january 1 we're going to fly the new horizons mission, which for people who are not aware, that is the mission that went to pluto back in 2014 and gave us stunning images and data and information science on pluto and that mission is still going strong. it is in an asteroid belt well
7:45 pm
beyond pluto. and it will be taking images of an object in the belt which we have never been able to go out there and take images of anything close range before. so you ask what is happening next, we have right now at nasa, there's more underway, i don't know how many years past, but there is a drought and now there are all of these activities at once. we will work in the holiday but a lot of amazing discoveries are being made. and we are looking forward to it. our next question you basically answered. influenced the timeline for manned missions for mars? >> everything we learned about mars at this point will help us understand today. insight could provide good
7:46 pm
information about liquid water on mars and where it is and how to get to it. we strongly believe there is liquid water 10 kilometers under the surface of mars. so, the answer is yes, the more we learn, the more we are able to achieve. to get to mars, yes. but the lunar missions, the president's mission is to go to the moon, go sustainably with international and commercial partners, and that means we will have reusability built into the system. we will test and prove technology at the moon that ultimately, we can replicate at mars. we will prove human physiology at the moon, only a three-day journey. we need to use the moon as a proving ground. in the meantime, when you join learn as much about mars as possible. it will help us know how often
7:47 pm
it is a getting impacted with asteroids. if we are sending humans there, it will be important to know if they will experience asteroid impacts. >> it is pretty much our goal. learning from missions and building upon those missions. >> one after another. nasa has a long history of doing amazing work and building on past successes and failures. >> that is true. >> i will tell you, what an amazing time to be at the helm of this extraordinary agency. >> we are so glad you are here to share it with us. thank you for joining us. >> a true pleasure. >> i am sure you need to go in there and celebrate with these folks. but thank you for stepping out with us. >> thank you. >> mars exploration is cool stuff, but if you are not convinced yet, talk to these scientists and engineers. no one conveys the excitement so
7:48 pm
than those who worked on the mission. really this year we went to 15 california cities. they call this the insight roadshow. >> we're here in san francisco, at the exploratory them. -- exploratorium. it is part of the insight roadshow. it is the first interplanetary mission we ever launched from california and we are doing a lot of public engagement activities along california. >> we are talking to the public and getting them excited and sharing information they probably would not get from the website. >> we have a replica of the actual launch vehicle taking insight to mars. we have fun props. people can take pictures. children really like mars. >> we invite kids to come in and jump. we have a little seismometer on the thrower -- the floor.
7:49 pm
students can come and jump next to it and they can see the recording on the screen. >> i have had people come to me and say this is the most i've ever understood about a space mission. i'm so happy i came because now i understand what you're doing and why it is important. and i'm really excited. >> it really puts it into perspective. she was able to explain a lot of what happens. the camera, what goes into the ground. it is a great exhibit. not just for myself but for kids who want to learn about mars. >> ok. we want you to meet another mars veteran here at jpl. weretor mike watkins, you a manager for curiosity. >> absolutely. this is the fifth mars lander that i have worked on. maybe we are getting the hang of it, finally. >> doesn't ever get better? does it get old?
7:50 pm
is it always the same? >> it doesn't. we're just as nervous every time. it is such a crazy time. we can't do anything. it is a feeling of helplessness. the spacecraft is on its own and everything we did, we did a day ago. i think you just always have the nervousness. you have confidence in the engineers and scientists and everything they can do in their hands. >> it is our eighth successful lending. we learn from this, we learn a little more, we do it better the next time. >> and we learn from the failures, too. we learn from all the failures from all of the missions. not just nasa missions. each one of them tells you a little something, an extra test you should do or thing to guard against. we learned from all of these. luckily we have recently been very successful. >> we are always trying something new, always trying to learn something new. we had a situation this time,
7:51 pm
obviously you couldn't couldn't be in place to give communications. so marco came about. >> marco is an incredible success story. we couldn't have mars odyssey do it for these events. to wait aave had couple hours and have the reply from the mars reconnaissance orbiter. so we had this idea to build these two cubes. these are the kinds of things that something high school kids could build these days. these are the first interplanetary cubes outside of the earths orbit. the sole purpose was to do the relay. a cool flat antenna, they relayed the uhf signals in real time for us. just amazing. a lot of career folks here with a little bit of adult supervision. the engineers did a fantastic job with marco and exceeded all of our expectations. it is a great tribute to the
7:52 pm
whole marco team. with a them in there special black shirt. a fantastic thing and not only did it work for the mission, but it opens up the door for more small missions like that. we put other missions on them. it is a whole new door thanks to them. >> they were just made with off-the-shelf parts. >> we had the radio of course, antennas are little bit new technology. a lot of this is standard stuff that you can replicate at a lower cost. >> what do you think in terms of that other missions will be carrying their own and not having to depend on a bend pipe from an orbiter? >> they might carry with relays. they can do more than just relays. they can take pictures, spectrometry, a lot of stuff we
7:53 pm
would like to do with orbiters. so there is a chance we could send them to venus, asteroids, mars, a lot of stuff we can do and i think we're just learning the capability of what we can miniaturize and put on these cubes. it is a great first effort. >> absolutely. we have one question for you. it is a social media question george, age nine, from the u.k. how long did it take to plan and build this mission? >> i have two answers. the insight itself, typically from the time we start the mission to when we launch it, four to five years. two things happen. one to our advantage and one not. we have a lot from a mission called phoenix. a lot of the design work had already been done because it was done for the mission phoenix. and even before that. a lot of the basic design we
7:54 pm
inherited from this mission. on the other hand we had a little bad luck in that the instruments, the seismometer is so unbelievably precise. we could not quite get it ready. in partnership with the french and a lot of other countries in europe, including the u.k. and switzerland and other folks, we could not quite get it ready to go for launch and we had to wait two years and took an extra two years because of that. so mars and the earth are only lined up every 26 months. so we had to wait another months. 26 it took us a little longer. >> speaking of the international, it is a perfect segway for where we are going next. we have been trying to introduce you to people behind the scenes. it the insight mission requires we go beyond our borders. this is truly an international mission. to ae introduce you swiss-italian scientist who studies earthquakes and mars quakes. >> for some of us, it is a
7:55 pm
lifetime problem. i am an italian living in switzerland. i worked on earthquakes and i am therefore i will work on mars quakes. i am a professor at university. mission to measure the -- my main field -- inside is a nation to measure and help us. there are two main reasons why is important. a big motivation coming for community goals. the role in this mission is to deliver electronics. we will provide daily -- this is what our students work on. that is direct relevance of how we understand our world. >> and that partnership goes far
7:56 pm
beyond individual scientists. take a look at this. it is a picture of the calibration tool on the decks of the insight lander. it is what the team uses to calibrate the cameras on mars. notice the logos. it is a recognition of our international partnerships with french, german, government space connect, and the german aerospace center dlr. it is my pleasure to welcome the project manager, and executive board member. i can't imagine a better day. what was your reaction? >> i'm very grateful for all of the people of the mission. all my thoughts are going to the team. a picture of the
7:57 pm
ground. it is the beginning. a new adventure and the best conditions. thank you for that. >> definitely a new adventure. what is your feeling? the hp cube is on that deck, it is ready to go. >> first of all i would like to congratulate our partners here in the u.s. what day great day and great job they did. it is not easy to land on mars. the first time we land on mars as i have experienced it, it is a great day. this was really exciting so far. now the job starts for us. >> it is funny, you had once said, you are a musician as well, you play jazz. you see exploration and music is very similar. how is that? >> yes. because human management of all activities is the same.
7:58 pm
you have a conductor and an orchestra. to find the best talents, deliver on time, be ready, and have the best performances. >> we should let people know that we will not be collecting science right away, is that correct? it will not be for collect several months from now. >> it will take about two or three months. of course we will have some data during the deployment, but to make the best science it would be about the beginning of march. >> all right. announcer: funeral plans have been announcer former president george h.w. bush. members of the house and senate will take part in an arrival ceremony for the casket in the capital live on monday starting at 5:00 p.m. and you can see that here on c-span. in the evening the public will be able to pay their respects to the late president as he lies in
7:59 pm
state in the capitol rotunda until early wednesday morning. the funeral at the washington national cathedral begins at 11:00. later wednesday the remains of the former president will be returned to texas for a public viewing in houston wednesday night. -- thursday there is a burial. c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television company. bringday we continue to you unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court, and public policy events in washington dc and around the country. c-span is brought to you by your cable or satellite provider. announcer: here is a look at our schedule tonight.
8:00 pm
tonight on q&a from george washington's mount vernon estate, three historians talk about what it means to be an american. prime minister theresa may takes questions from members of the british house of commons, followed at 9:45 understatement about a brexit plan. ," auncer: this week on "q&a discussion on what it means to be an american with historians. russell shorto, what would you say it means to be an american? russell: that is a broad question. first of all, thank you for hosting this and for inviting me. i love what you have done with
8:01 pm
the p.


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on