After Curiosity, $425 million more for InSight.
After Curiosity, It’s InSight to go on a Trip to Mars
It seems NASA wants to remain on Mars and continue with it; for they chose Mars over Titan Splashdown and a Comet hopper. Now having Curiosity: The 1 ton robot rover on the red planet, NASA plans to send him a companion i.e. InSight.
Now what’s the mission for InSight? Well, answer lies in its name itself. After zapping of Martian rocks, NASA wants to dig Mars rocks. This is the next discovery-class exploration for NASA.
“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. 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.”, said Charles Bolden, the NASA administrator in the news release.
The mission for InSight will be that it will place one single geophysical Lander on Mars and study the interior formations of Mars. In the mission t find the formation of the Red planet, the probe will drill 30 feet hole in the Martian surface to note the temperature of the crust and keep a watch on seismograph readings for any ‘MARSQUAKES’.
As it is a Discovery class mission; one of the cheapest of NASA’s three kinds of planetary exploration missions, quality science is expected from it. The cost of this mission is capped at $425 million (excluding the launch vehicle and related services). This is a mission; to say in NASA’s words, would happen quite less often.
InSight Key Details:
- Launch: March 8- March 27, 2016
- Landing: September 20, 2016
- Surface Operation: 720 Days/ 720 sols
- First Science Return: October 2016
- End of Mission: September 10, 2018