Lockheed Martin building spacecraft For InSight Mars lander

  • 30-Aug-2012 03:45 EDT
InSight_Lander.jpg

An artist rendition of the proposed InSight lander is shown. InSight is based on the proven Phoenix Mars spacecraft and lander design with avionics from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory missions.

Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co. in Denver has been selected to build and operate the InSight spacecraft. The Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) mission, led by principal investigator Bruce Banerdt of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and managed by JPL. Targeted for launch in 2016, the InSight lander would reach the Red Planet later that year and land at Elysium Planitia, a large flat area near the planet's equator. The InSight lander will install a seismograph and heat flow probe into the Martian surface. By using sophisticated geophysical instruments, InSight will delve deep beneath the surface of Mars, detecting the fingerprints of the processes of terrestrial planet formation, as well as measuring the planet's seismology, heat flow probe, and precision tracking.

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