New Insight On Mars Expected From New NASA Mission


This artist’s rendition illustrates the formation of rocky bodies in the solar system – how they form and differentiate and evolve into terrestrial planets. Image credit: JPL/NASA-Caltech

On Aug. 20, NASA announced the selection of InSight, a new Discovery-class mission that will probe Mars at new depths by looking into the deep interior of Mars.

Drilling underneath the red Martian topsoil will be courtesy of InSight’s HP3, or Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package – one of the four instruments the Mars lander will carry. Made by the German Aerospace Center, or DLR, HP3 will get below Mars’ skin by literally pounding it into submission with a 14-inch (35-centimeter), hollowed-out, electromechanically-festooned stake called the Tractor Mole.

The German-built mole will descend up to 16 feet (five meters) below the surface, where its temperature sensors will record how much heat is coming from Mars’ interior, which reveals the planet’s thermal history.

“Getting well below the surface gets us away from the sun’s influence and allows us to measure heat coming from the interior,” said Smrekar.

Full Story: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2012-252

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  1. August 21, 2012 at 11:31 am

    Reblogged this on blushinpurple and commented:
    Wow..i hear this will soon be our new home…not sure about the whole…magnetosphere thing!

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