Washington, August 21: NASA is planning to a launch new mission that will take the first look into the deep interior of Mars to see why the Red Planet evolved so differently from Earth as one of our solar system’s rocky planets.
The new mission, named InSight, and set to launch in 2016, will place instruments on the Martian surface to investigate whether the core of Mars is solid or liquid like Earth’s and why Mars’ crust is not divided into tectonic plates that drift like Earth’s.
Detailed knowledge of the interior of Mars in comparison to Earth will help scientists understand better how terrestrial planets form and evolve.
“The exploration of Mars is a top priority for NASA, and the selection of InSight ensures we will continue to unlock the mysteries of the
Red Planet and lay the groundwork for a future human mission there,” said
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden.
“The recent successful landing of the Curiosity rover has galvanized public interest in space exploration and today’s announcement makes clear there are more exciting Mars missions to come,” he added.
InSight will be led by W. Bruce Banerdt at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif.
InSight’s science team includes U.S. and international co-investigators from universities, industry and government agencies.
The French space agency Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales, or CNES, and the German Aerospace Center, or DLR, are contributing instruments to InSight, which is scheduled to land on Mars in September 2016 to begin its two-year scientific mission. (ANI)