Lockheed Martin Delivers Mars Spacecraft To California, To Be Launched In March

Posted: Dec 21 2015, 12:03pm CST | by , Updated: Dec 21 2015, 7:35pm CST, in Latest Science News


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Lockheed Martin Delivers Mars Spacecraft to California, To Be Launched In March

NASA has taken delivery of a spacecraft that will be the first unmanned technology to visit Mars by March next year – NASA states in a post.

The Mars spacecraft was built by Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Denver and delivered to the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, from where it will be launched anytime between March 4-30 on a 6-months journey to Mars.

The spacecraft had been fully tested by Lockheed Martin before delivery on December 16. It arrived to Vandenberg from the Buckley Air Force Base.

The spacecraft will undergo more testing before it is launched, and this includes installation and testing of its seismometer – which is billed to arrive at Vandenberg by January 2016.

"InSight has traveled the first leg of its journey, getting from Colorado to California, and we're on track to start the next leg, to Mars, with a launch in March," said InSight Principal Investigator Bruce Banerdt, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California.

The National Space Agency of France developed the seismometer, together with its vacuum container built around its three major sensors. The vacuum would be needed to maintain the extreme sensitivity of the seismometer, which is well able to measure ground motions that are as tiny as the width of an atom.

Germany’s space agency developed the InSight’s heat probe, but the spacecraft’s robotic arm and other necessary payload have already been loaded onto the spacecraft.

Standing for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations Geodesy and Heat Transport, InSight will be the first mission to Mars aimed at studying its deep interior. Findings garnered by the lander will be very valuable to understanding the formation and evolution of Earth and other rocky planets in general.

And another thing: the names of 827,000 people who participated in the “Send your name to Mars” scheme conducted from August to September this year have been entered into a microchip chip which has been installed into InSight lander enroute Mars.

InSight will be the first space mission to Mars ever launched from California. It is one of NASA’s Discovery Program which is managed by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/52" rel="author">Charles I. Omedo</a>
Charles is covering the latest discoveries in science and health as well as new developments in technology. He is the Chief Editor or Intel-News.




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