Monday, April 30, 2018

InSight to launch Saturday

If all goes well, NASA will be launching InSight, the next mission to Mars on Saturday, May 5.

The lander will be launched not at the Cape but at Vandenberg in California, and will carry instruments designed to study the crust, mantle and core of the red planet. (Because the lander is so light they can afford the fuel to launch to a polar orbit). The launch will also carry a pair of CubeSats, the first of the microsats to be sent to Mars.

We haven't really looked too much into the internal structure of Mars yet, and we'll have to wait a while. InSight will be taking longitudinal recordings from a single site for two Earth years after a planned landing in November.