International Space Agencies – Missions and Discoveries

Nasa Mars InSight blasts off from California Air Base to check on ‘Marsquakes’


Mains Paper 3: Science & Technology | Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Particulars of the mission

Mains level: Importance of the mission

Mission Mars InSight
InSight stands for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport

  1. The NASA has launched a InSight Mission
  2. It is designed to study Mars at a much more fundamental level, helping to fill large gaps in scientists’ understanding of the planet’s geologic structure, composition and seismic activity
  3. It is the first Nasa mission to study the red planet’s interior

More about the mission

  1. The launch of InSight, aboard an Atlas V rocket, took place rcently
  2. The Atlas V also lifted two small CubeSats that will trail InSight to Mars to test deep-space communications technology
  3. One InSight instrument will dig 5 meters (16 feet) into the subsurface to measure heat from the interior
  4. It is set to touch down on 26 November after a six-month cruise and a six-minute re-entry and descent

Why is studying mars interior important?

  1. Mars presents an interesting geologic specimen to study rocky planet formation because of its “Goldilocks” size
  2. It’s large enough that it experienced the same early processes as Earth and Venus during its formation, but it’s small enough to have retained a record of those processes deep within
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