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Posts Tagged ‘InSight’

Digging deep: New Mars Mission To Take First Look At What’s Going On Deep Inside The Red Planet

August 21, 2012 Leave a comment

Artist rendition of the formation of rocky bodies in the solar system.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

A UK Space Agency-funded instrument, designed to investigate the interior structure and processes of Mars, has been selected to travel to the Red Planet on NASA’s newly announced InSight mission.

The UK-funded SEIS-SP is a Seismometer that will listen for “marsquakes” and use this information to map the boundaries between the rock layers inside Earth’s neighbour. This will help determine if the planet has a liquid or solid core, and provide some clues as to why its surface is not divided up into tectonic plates as on Earth. Detailed knowledge of the interior of Mars in comparison to Earth will help scientists understand better how terrestrial planets form and evolve. The SEIS-SP will be provided by space scientists at Imperial College London and the University of Oxford.

Dr David Williams, Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency, said, “Placing the first seismometer on Mars has long been a goal of international scientists, and this is a great example of the pioneering, world-class science and technology supported by the UK Space Agency.”

Full Story: http://www.bis.gov.uk/ukspaceagency/news-and-events/2012/Aug/new-mars-mission-to-take-first-look-at-whats-going-on-deep-inside-the-red-planet

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New Insight On Mars Expected From New NASA Mission

August 21, 2012 1 comment

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

New NASA Mission To Take First Look Deep Inside Mars

August 20, 2012 Leave a comment

NASA has selected a new mission, set to launch in 2016, 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, 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,” NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said. “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.”

Full Story: http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2012/aug/HQ_12-288-New_Discovery_Mars_Mission.html

Proposed Mars Mission Has New Name

February 28, 2012 Leave a comment

A proposed Discovery mission concept led by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., to investigate the formation and evolution of terrestrial planets by studying the deep interior of Mars now has a new name, InSight.

InSight stands for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport and is a partnership involving JPL, Lockheed Martin Space Systems, the French Space Agency (CNES), the German Aerospace Center (DLR), and other NASA centers. The previous name for the proposal was GEMS (GEophysical Monitoring Station). NASA requested that name be reserved for an astrophysics mission known as the Gravity and Extreme Magnetism Small Explorer, which was already in development.

“We chose the name InSight because we would literally peer into the interior of Mars to map out its structure,” said JPL’s Bruce Banerdt, the principal investigator. “With our geophysical instruments we will be able to see right through to the center of Mars, and will be able to map out how deeply the crust extends as well as the size of the core.”

Full Story: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2012-050