The news that NASA came (again) to Mars has two silent protagonists, but in practice they were fundamental in order for the world to know that the Insight probe successfully landed on the red planet. So Wall-E and Eva, two nanotubes that acted as a robot guard to explore the Martian soil. They followed the remote operation and sent a confirmation to the Earth in minutes that everything was good.
Satellites warn by their name. While officially Marco-A and MarCO-B (for the program they are part of) NASA scientists have been named as characters in Pixar in 2008. There are two for a simple reason: if they did not succeed, others could only continue with the mission.
Two Marco satellites that followed the Insight probe landing. (AP)
The Marco mission, explains NASA at the site of the Insight probe, was built to test whether these two small experimental spaceships – the size of a briefcase – could survive a journey into the deeper universe. These two nanowires, known as CubeSats, were more than capable.
For seven months, they traveled from Earth to Mars for the Insight probe and then set themselves on the periphery so that they could provide details of the landing that was formed on Monday.
"WALL-E and EVA worked the way we expected," said chief engineer Marco Andy Klesh of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California. Here were CubeSats developers. "They were a great test how they can serve in future missions," update the landing status per minute.
As described in detail by the space agency, experimental radio and antennas were used and taken only 8 minutes when sending data to Earth.
The first picture that Insight sent after landing on Marta. (EFE)
Due to the problems posed by the landing on Mars (only 40% of the experiments were successful), scientists use this small satellite model to act as a possible "black box" to record an accident, and then it can investigate and improve future experiments.
One detail: The project was mostly developed by young scientists and in many cases it was the first experience of space missions. That is why success has an additional taste.
After landing, MarCO-B turned to get rid of the photos of the red planet. He also tried to take some pictures of the moons of Mars, Phobos and Deimos.
The image of Mars, who took one of the satellites with more than a thousand miles away. (REUTERS)
"WALL-E sent some great postcards to Mars!" said Cody Colley, JPL, Marco Head of Mission, who led the work to plan each CubeSat for photography.
In order to achieve the goal, MarCO will use additional data from each CubeSat in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, on Mars, Insight now takes photos of the ground so that engineers can decide where to learn the instruments of the spacecraft. NASA has estimated that it will be two to three months before implementing these instruments and sending data.