NASA to launch InSight in May 2018

NASA to launch InSight in May 2018

NASA recently announced that InSight will be launched on 5 May 2018. InSight, which stands for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigation, Geodesy and Heat Transportation, is a robotic Mars lander originally scheduled for launch in March 2016. The launch was postponed due to failure of its Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure instruments (SEIS).

Scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory are working to fix the issue before the next launch date to avoid any delay. The delay is estimated to cost NASA an additional amount of $153.8 million on $675 million budget originally decided for the project. The InSight, once launched, would explore deep, interior structures of Mars and their formation.

Position of Earth to Mars will decide the launch window. The position should be such that it would become easy for the lander to reach the Red Planet. The launch window is estimated to open on March 5, 2018 and the probe will land on planet on November 26, 2018.

After reaching there, the probe willwork onthe formation of Mars. After landing on the Martian surface, the probe would spend a Martian year on the planet that accounts for 687 Earth days. The probe will be equipped with two instruments that allowit to study internal geologic activity of the planet.

Before it, the launch was delayed this year. The reason behind the delay was problems with theSEIS, which could help in detecting even very small seismic activity on Mars. The SEIS needs a perfect vacuum seal around its three main sensors to survive harsh conditions on Mars.


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