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Waspie_Dwarf

New Mission to Look Deep Inside Mars

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New NASA Mission to Take First Look Deep Inside Mars

Mission team members for InSight, the new Mars lander mission selected by NASA to launch in 2016, explain how the spacecraft will advance our knowledge of Mars' history and rocky planet evolution.

PASADENA, Calif. -- 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."

InSight will be led by W. Bruce Banerdt at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory 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 are contributing instruments to InSight, which is scheduled to land on Mars in September 2016 to begin its two-year scientific mission.

InSight is the 12th selection in NASA's series of Discovery-class missions. Created in 1992, the Discovery Program sponsors frequent, cost-capped solar system exploration missions with highly focused scientific goals. NASA requested Discovery mission proposals in June 2010 and received 28. InSight was one of three proposed missions selected in May 2011 for funding to conduct preliminary design studies and analyses. The other two proposals were for missions to a comet and Saturn's moon Titan.

InSight builds on spacecraft technology used in NASA's highly successful Phoenix lander mission, which was launched to the Red Planet in 2007 and determined water existed near the surface in the Martian polar regions. By incorporating proven systems in the mission, the InSight team demonstrated that the mission concept was low-risk and could stay within the cost-constrained budget of Discovery missions. The cost of the mission, excluding the launch vehicle and related services, is capped at $425 million in 2010 dollars.

"Our Discovery Program enables scientists to use innovative approaches to answering fundamental questions about our solar system in the lowest cost mission category," said John Grunsfeld, associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters. "InSight will get to the 'core' of the nature of the interior and structure of Mars, well below the observations we've been able to make from orbit or the surface."

InSight will carry four instruments. JPL will provide an onboard geodetic instrument to determine the planet's rotation axis and a robotic arm and two cameras used to deploy and monitor instruments on the Martian surface. CNES is leading an international consortium that is building an instrument to measure seismic waves traveling through the planet's interior. The German Aerospace Center is building a subsurface heat probe to measure the flow of heat from the interior.

JPL provides project management for NASA's Science Mission Directorate. NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., manages the Discovery Program for the agency's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Denver will build the spacecraft. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

For more information about InSight, visit: http://insight.jpl.nasa.gov .

For more information about the Discovery Program, visit: http://discovery.nasa.gov .

For information about NASA and agency programs, visit: http://www.nasa.gov .

DC Agle / Guy Webster 818-393-9011/818-354-6278

Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

agle@jpl.nasa.gov / guy.webster@jpl.nasa.gov

Dwayne Brown 202-358-1726

NASA Headquarters, Washington

Dwayne.c.brown@nasa.gov

2012-250

arrow3.gifSource

Edited by Waspie_Dwarf
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I didn't know that NASA / JPL had any more missions going to Mars in the immediate future. InSite seems like it might be a version of Spirit & Opportunity with more tools.

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I didn't know that NASA / JPL had any more missions going to Mars in the immediate future.

They have the MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN) orbiter mission next. That is due for launch next year.

InSite seems like it might be a version of Spirit & Opportunity with more tools.

Absolutely not. It's not a rover for a start, it's a lander. It's actually based on the Mars Phoenix Lander which landed in the northern polar region of Mars in May 2008.

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Next Mars Lander Will Drill into the Red Planet

The mission, known as InSight, is slated to launch in 2016. It was selected from among three candidate missions for a new Discovery-class science initiative, which are relatively low-cost ($425 million in 2010 dollars, not including the launch vehicle) and targeted to answer specific science questions.

In InSight's case, the question is what is inside of Mars. It includes a seismometer, to measure "Marsquakes" if any exist, and a subsurface thermometer to determine how much heat is being released from the planet's core.

WATCH VIDEO: New concepts for Mars-probing rovers would use Martian wind to move around the planet.

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This is really the way to explore,until we find something that wiggles. Then its time to send manned missions.

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"their" next Mars mission? So now it's not ours any more?

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"their" next Mars mission? So now it's not ours any more?

well none of us made the rockets or rovers.

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why do they take so freaken much for each mission more than a decade for them to maybe know if mars's core is solid or liquid? at this pace we'll have a base on mars in about 9999999999999999 years

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"their" next Mars mission? So now it's not ours any more?

As, like me, you are in the UK, and as I was specifically speaking about NASA then no, it's not ours. The tax payers of the USA paid for it, NOT you and me.

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why do they take so freaken much for each mission more than a decade for them to maybe know if mars's core is solid or liquid? at this pace we'll have a base on mars in about 9999999999999999 years

Firstly, you can only launch to Mars every 2 years or so, due to the relative positions of the planet.

Secondly, each mission has to be built from scratch, tested and calibrated before launch.

Thirdly, it then takes nine months to get to Mars.

Fourthly, once on Mars the experiments have to be checked before they start collecting data to make sure they are working properly.

The experiments then have to be carried out multiple times to ensure that the results are reproducible.

Then the data has to be processed.

Finally conclusions have to be drawn from the data.

It's actually quite impressive that it ONLY takes 10 years.

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I have to agree with one of the above posts.

They take far too long.

Fair enough im sure they have to prepare in one way or another but could they not do it more efficiently and im not just talking about NASA here. Why not do a Joint world Space program,.....thing lol.

Might speed things up AND maybe give us better results.

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Might speed things up AND maybe give us better results.

There is a saying in quality control, " quicker, cheaper, better. Pick any two because you can't have all three."

NASA learned this the hard way. In the 1990's NASA administrator Daniel Goldin announced a "faster, better, cheaper" policy. Two Mars missions were produced as a result of this policy, the Mars Climate Orbiter and the Mars Polar Lander.

And the result of producing these vehicles more quickly... both were lost. Two total failures.

So if you want things quicker and better you are going to have to spend vast amounts more.

When NASA takes a long time to plan and build a mission it's because they aren't going to make the same mistake twice.

Edited by Waspie_Dwarf

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yea it takes a lot, and i,m pretty sure it was not just us that made that possible, main booster engine that took the rocket off the earth was build in Russia, and i,m sure some other components were build outside us

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