Space News: New Mars Mission is Announced by NASA – photo by Public Domain
As more curiosity circulates over the Curiosity rover on Mars, a new Mars mission is announced by NASA.
According to Phsyics Today, NASA has selected a new Mars mission for launch in March 2016, officials announced on 20 August. The mission, InSight, will investigate the inner matter of Earth’s neighbor to determine whether its core is solid or liquid. Furthermore, it will study Mars’s crust to see why it is not divided into tectonic plates.
InSight is the 12th mission under the Discovery program, which sponsors solar system exploration missions. The price ceiling the this new mission will be $425 million in the fiscal year of 2010 and does not include the cost of a launching vehicle, which has yet to be chosen. InSight will be built upon the same technologies in NASA’s 2007 mission Phoenix, where Phoenix discovered that water existed near the surface in the Martian polar regions. Like most rovers, InSight will be powered by solar energy and will be able to last for two years.
The project will be managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, led by principal investigator W. Bruce Banerdt. The partners on this project include France’s CNES space agency and Germany’s German Aerospace Center. While the project is still in its infancy stage, NASA has said the mission will include an onboard geodetic instrument to determine the planet’s rotation axis, a robotic arm to deploy the instruments on the Martian surface, and two cameras to monitor the instruments.
Space News: New Mars Mission is Announced by NASA.