As InSight enters Mars's atmosphere, it will be traveling at around 12,300 mph, generating a tremendous amount of heat. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Topics: Mars, NASA, Planetary Science, Space Exploration, Spaceflight

When NASA's InSight mission arrives at Mars on Monday (Nov. 26), the probe faces a formidable challenge — perhaps the most harrowing so far of its seven-month journey — touching down on the planet's surface.

Any given moment of the process of launching a spacecraft and propelling it toward a distant target in our solar system carries risks. But InSight's descent will be an especially nerve-wracking nail-biter for NASA: Mission control won't have any idea what's happening to the spacecraft in real time, due to the minutes-long delay in the craft's transmission signal.

During the critical minutes after InSight breaches Mars' atmosphere, when the probe is hurtling toward the planet's surface, news of the lander's progress won't yet have reached Earth. For 6 long minutes, NASA engineers will tensely wait for InSight's status reports to catch up, leaving the team unable to confirm if InSight landed safely or if something unexpected went horribly wrong. The latter could leave the lander "dead" on the Martian surface.

There are three stages that InSight (short for Interior Exploration Using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) will undergo as it zooms toward the landing site: a rocket-powered trip through Mars' upper atmosphere; a parachute descent after ejecting the lander's protective heat shield; and a powered descent to the ground, slowed by 12 firing engines, according to NASA. First, the "cruise stage" will separate and the capsule will reposition itself so its heat shield faces the atmosphere, where the shield will heat up to more than 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit (1,000 degrees Celsius), Rob Manning, a systems engineer at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), said in a video.

Get Ready for InSight Mars Landing's '6 Minutes of Terror', Mindy Weisberger, Live Science

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Blog Posts

Initial posting

Posted by Kwesi Adebisi on January 15, 2019 at 9:40am 0 Comments

I would give an intricate, wordy introduction, but there are some hinderances. I am currently realm-building for a debut series, but life has a way of taking priority. One day, I will have the availability I need. My next one will be more detailed, rest assured.

Disaster Hypocrisy...

Posted by Reginald L. Goodwin on January 15, 2019 at 5:30am 0 Comments

Credit: Karl Spencer Getty Images

Topics: Climate Change, Global Warming, Politics, Research

Mexico won’t pay for President Trump’s border wall. But Northern Californians might.

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3D Topological Insulators...

Posted by Reginald L. Goodwin on January 14, 2019 at 5:30am 0 Comments

Courtesy: H. Chen

Topics: Laser, Optical Physics, Photonics, Materials Science, Nanotechnology, Quantum Mechanics

Reference: Topological Insulators, then the rest of the post.…

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Post Apocalypse...

Posted by Reginald L. Goodwin on January 11, 2019 at 5:30am 0 Comments

Nuff said.

Topics: Civics, Civil Rights, Existentialism, Human Rights, Politics

Donald J. Trump is a a carefully-crafted public fiction. I have said this for years, and stand by that assertion. A headline from Newsweek: "…
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ONYXCON SANKOFA 2019 - Saturday and Sunday February 16-17

Posted by Jarvis Sheffield - Admin on January 10, 2019 at 8:49am 0 Comments

ONYXCON returns to WOLF CREEK LIBRARY for another celebration of the HISTORY of the African Diaspora in Popular Arts! JOIN US Saturday and Sunday FEBRUARY 16-17 for family fun and EDUTAINMENT! VENDING NOW AVAILABLE! APPLY via ONYXCON@gmail.com

Hobbled Hubble...

Posted by Reginald L. Goodwin on January 10, 2019 at 5:30am 0 Comments

The Hubble telescope launched in 1990. Credit: NASA

Topics: Astronomy, Astrophysics, NASA, Politics, Research

Yet another casualty: science. The NSF, NOAA and other related sites are…
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Earth's AT-ATs...

Posted by Reginald L. Goodwin on January 9, 2019 at 5:30am 0 Comments

Image Source: Link below

Topics: Green Energy, Green Tech, Mechanical Engineering, Robotics, Star Wars

Ironically, I drive a Hyundai Santa Fe (2013). But I'm satisfied with its performance, so I don't think I'll be "trading up" to this one. Plus, it's designed primarily for first responders.…

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Nano Zappers...

Posted by Reginald L. Goodwin on January 8, 2019 at 5:30am 0 Comments

Topics: Biology, Cancer, Electromagnetic Radiation, Green Energy, Nanotechnology, Research

One potentially valuable way to attack cancer cells is to zap them with low-intensity alternating current. This interferes with the flow of calcium and potassium ions in and out of the cells, a process so important that disrupting it ultimately kills them.

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Multi Messenger Astronomy...

Posted by Reginald L. Goodwin on January 7, 2019 at 5:30am 0 Comments

Figure 1: On 17 August 2017 LIGO detected gravitational waves from a neutron-star collision. Within 12 hours observatories had identified the source of the event GW170817 within the galaxy NGC 4993 – shown in this Hubble Space Telescope image – and located the associated radioactive emissions, or “kilonova”. Hubble observed that flare of light fade over the course of six days, as shown in these observations taken on 22, 26 and 28 August (insets). (Courtesy: NASA, ESA; A Levan (University of Warwick), N Tanvir (University of Leicester), A…
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Intelligent Collectors encouraged!

Posted by Turtel Onli on January 2, 2019 at 7:32am 0 Comments

The fact that most indie Black Age publishers produce limited editions or small press runs insures the collector will likely have a rare item to treasure. Future speculative investors, auctions and collectors, once its time has come, will pay dividends to acquire items from this extended important era in this industry. Seeing "Black" as investment value or prestige is growing beyond the realm of that which comes from the mainstream. Most will be left saying...."I had those Black Age books...I didn't ever think much of them. Damn!"

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Life as alpha of a werewolf pack is anything but predictable. But even Parker Berenson is surprised by the latest twist: he’s fallen in love with a space alien. Problem is, he suspects Melera, his sexy new flame, might be the serial killer terrorizing Seattle. Or maybe she isn’t. After all, just because she’s an interstellar assassin doesn’t mean she’s guilty.

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