NASA’s mission to send the InSight Mars Lander, a spacecraft to land on the Red Planet named Mars is scheduled for 5th of May in this year. Two CubeSats named Wall-E and Eva are all set to launch alongside this spacecraft. These are said to be the first CubeSats to make their visit to Mars. This CubeSats are based on technology that got highly acclaimed during 2000. These are tiny in size and due to their unique design gained popularity.
The crafts capabilities and caliber are intensified and also improved with the help of the miniaturized computers. These twin CubeSats remained close enough to our planet, Earth and helped in observing the planet. They were used for teaching shipping and also assisted in communication. However, backup of big data system was not available in these small spacecraft.
These twin CubeSats which are to be launched to Mars along with NASA’s Mars lander, InSight is known as MarCO or Mars Cube One. The InSight lander will start its journey on Atlas V rocket from the Vandenberg Air Force Base which is stationed in California. The twin CubeSats are also said to be journeying on the same Atlas V rocket.
MarCOs will be sending data to Earth regarding the landing status of the InSight by following it all the way throughout its journey to Mars. MarCOs are named after the characters from the animated film Wall-E. These CubeSats will push themselves in space with the help of compressed gas which is generally found in fire extinguishers.
For communicating with Earth, InSight doesn’t require MarCOs but depends on the Mars orbiters. It also communicates with the antennas on Earth. The twin CubeSats are to be sent to space in order to know how its technology works on the orbit of other planets.
The CubeSats are made with really delicate electronics and hence making their way towards space can be difficult. NASA has even stated that whether they’ll be able to reach Mars is not guaranteed. They need a long-lasting battery which will allow then to unfurl the solar arrays.
These CubeSats are also required to withstand high radiation during its journey towards Mars. On the other hand, their successful landing can be very momentous to the astronauts and researchers for getting to know about the complications of the Red Planet. Wall-E and Eva can be used to explore the solar system if and only they remain successful in this mission of launching on Mars and communicating to earth about InSight’s whereabouts.