NASA Will Launch Mars InSight Mission In 2018

Posted: Sep 3 2016, 4:55am CDT | by , in Latest Science News


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NASA Will Launch Mars InSight Mission in 2018
NASA has set a new launch opportunity, beginning May 5, 2018, for the InSight mission to Mars. InSight is the first mission dedicated to investigating the deep interior of Mars. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
  • NASA’s Procrastinated Mars Lander will Take to the Skies Two Years from Now

NASA’s procrastinated Mars Lander will take to the skies approximately two years from now. It will thus be making a beeline for Mars in 2018.

A probe that will discover the inner machinations of the planet Mars will launch in 2018. NASA made the announcement today. Termed InSight, it was actually to be launched in 2016.

Yet such was not to be. NASA had to delay the launch due to issues with two of its scientific instruments. Technicians will now be fixing the glitch in the system by 2018 right in time for the delayed launch.

Due to the delay and fixing of the problem, another $153.8 million have been added to the pre-existing $675 million budget. The NASA administration confirmed this in a statement it released recently.

The probe will be launched at the moment of a special window of opportunity. At this timing, the alignment of Mars and Earth will be perfectly in synch for the probe to reach the Red Planet.

The window of opportunity is March 5th, 2018. The probe will land on the Martian surface on November 26th, 2018. The main job of the InSight mission is to learn all about how Mars and other planets with rocky terrain formed in the first place.

The probe will land on Mars and stay put there for a Mars year (which is equal to 687 earth days). The implements on board the InSight probe will examine the internal geological activity of Mars as well as its internal temperature.

The entire history of formation of the planet will be laid out in the open. Thus the formation of rocky planets around particular stars will be better known through the insights of InSight.

The delay was actually caused by a hitch in one of the instruments. Called the SEIS, it was meant to measure the slightest seismic activity on Mars. It required a complete vacuum seal around its borders for it to work properly in the rugged and stormy atmosphere of Mars.

A thorough examination of this instrument found leaky regions in the vacuum seal. A redesigning of the failed instrument will be accomplished now.

The different launch date of 2018 instead of 2016 is very feasible in terms of the precautionary measures that have been taken. A better understanding of Mars and other rocky planets will be achieved after the two year’s lapse in time.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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