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56 Years of Exploration from Mars I to InSight

Mankind has been confused about the stars, the universe, the planets, and of course, the neighboring red planet Earth for centuries.

Since the first time Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei pointed his telescope toward the sky, human curiosity over what is above us never stops. Galileo wanted to see far beyond what was possible with his naked eye. Centuries later and with the help of more advanced technology, humanity began to study other planets and maybe a second home.

Is there life out there? Will life on another planet come true? Is human settlement on Mars in the 2030s the future of mankind?

All of these questions lead us to see quickly how the space race began before we could continue to explore the possibilities and future of the occupation of Mars.

Space race: How it all started

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

With the increasing threat of nuclear extermination and fear of biological warfare, the American rocket program which was initially led by Werner von Braun gave birth to a guerrilla and design campaign with his Russian counterpart, led by Sergei Korolev.

A large amount of government funding on both sides is used for research, development and upgrading of propulsion systems for atomic weapons. Finally, the Soviet Union sent the first artificial satellite into orbit on October 4, 1957: Sputnik I.

Russia was motivated by its first success over America and continued to put the first human into space in 1961. The man on this historic mission, Yuri Gagarin, completed the task in the space capsule of Vostok I.

Meanwhile, in the United States, the American space program, which began in 1958 in response to the launch of Sputnik I, has been abandoned twice in a row. As you can guess, they are not very happy with this.

In 1958, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was established and the US launched a satellite made by Explorer I.

President John F. Kennedy announced that NASA would put someone on the Moon at the end of this decade, bringing him back to Earth safely.

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

Surface survey of Mars

The theodolite described below dates back to 1875. It was one of the first instruments used to survey planet Earth. Since then, survey instruments have developed a lot. So they did the mapping.

More than 120 years after this theodolite was part of a science instrument at the Museo Galileo in Florence, Italy, in early 1998, NASA's Global Global Surveyor was scheduled to begin mapping the surface of the fourth planet from the Sun: Mars.

Despite the fact that the red planet has been mapped before by Americans and Russians, what makes the Global Surveyor's mission different is that it sends the most detailed images of the surface of Mars that have been taken from space back to Earth.

1875 museo galileo © susanfourtane telescope
Theodolite for survey work, made of brass in 1875, Officine Galileo, Florence / © Susan Fourtané for Interesting Techniques

First mission to Mars

Mars I was the first investigation sent to Mars. Launched on November 1, 1962, also by Russia. Unfortunately, the investigation lost all contact with Earth on March 21, 1963. Unfortunately, no observations were received from Mars I.

A year later, on November 5, 1964, NASA launched Mariner 3, the vehicle for NASA's first Mars investigation. Unfortunately, it was out of control too early in its mission and never made it to complete its objectives.

On November 28, 1964, NASA launched Mariner 4. This time, the plane sent 21 photos of the surface of the planet's crater that appeared to be lifeless and some important information returned to Earth. This is the first time humans have seen a glimpse of how the surface of Mars.

Enter the inner Mars

InSight (Interior exploration uses Seismic Iinvestigation, Gweird, and Heat Transport), currently at Elysium Planitia, Mars, launched from Vanderberg Air Force Base, California on May 5, 2018 and landed on Mars on November 26, 2018.

Landers will study the interior of the planet. Produced by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, landers worth US $ 828.8 million will study the early evolution of terrestrial planets.

This exploration is expected to open a window of knowledge to rocky planets in the inner solar system. This makes InSight more than a Mars mission, even though its first target is Mars.

The mission is scheduled to last more than one year of Mars, which is equivalent to about two Earth years. In a few days, this will be 709 soles (Mars days), or 728 Earth days. The main mission of InSight will end in November 2020.

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

What is the chance that planets like Mars can present organic evolution in the interior, rather than on the surface as expected?

Scientists have sliced ​​planetary modeling that they know about the interior of planet Earth. One time, humans thought that the Earth was flat. Their belief was based on the little knowledge they had at the time. Similar to the little knowledge that exists on Mars so far. You understand the point. Things in the interior of Mars can be different from what we think.

SpaceX plans to go to Mars

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

Without a competitive agenda and an inner motivation that only a true maverick has, Elon Musk and his SpaceX team will make landfall on Mars and beyond possibilities. And with that, making multiplanetary life.

And this is the time for a new chapter that is completely different in the history of mankind and his dream of filling the stars begins.

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