NASA Begins Testing Mars Lander for Next Mission to Red Planet

Testing is underway on NASA's next mission on the journey to Mars, a stationary lander scheduled to launch in March 2016.

The lander is called InSight, an abbreviation for Interior
Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport. It
is about the size of a car and will be the first mission devoted to
understanding the interior structure of the Red Planet. Examining the
planet's deep interior could reveal clues about how all rocky planets,
including Earth, formed and evolved.

The current testing will help ensure InSight can operate in and
survive deep space travel and the harsh conditions of the Martian
surface. The spacecraft will lift off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in
California, and land on Mars about six months later.

The technical capabilities and knowledge gained from Insight, and
other Mars missions, are crucial to NASA's journey to Mars, which
includes sending astronauts to the Red Planet in the 2030s.

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Fuente: JPL-NASA

 

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