Mars has been a large subject of interest in the science community for years now. Many hope that eventually we’ll send a space shuttle there and set up some sort of space station. NASA’s most recent project was Curiosity, which landed just two weeks ago. Curiosity is NASA’s largest Mars rover to date and its two year mission is to discover if the planet was ever able to support life, even if it is in the microbial form. Today, Nasa announced its plans for a mission in 2016 to study Mars’ core.
The mission is called InSight and they plan on figuring out whether Mars’ core is solid or liquid like Earth’s and why Mars’ crust isn’t divided into tectonic plates that drift like those here on Earth. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden commented on the project: “The exploration of Mars is a top priority for NASA, and the selection of InSight ensures we will continue to unlock the mysteries of the Red Planet and lay the groundwork for a future human mission there. The recent successful landing of the Curiosity rover has galvanized public interest in space exploration and today’s announcement makes clear there are more exciting Mars missions to come.”
The mission will be run by NASA’s JPL(Jet Propulsion Laboratory) and the lander will carry two cameras, a robotic arm and a thermal probe which will collect data on the planet’s temperature. The cost of the mission is currently at $425 million. InSight will be an international mission as NASA has teamed up with the French Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales and the German Aerospace Center. The launch date is currently set for March 20, 2016 and a landing on Mars is expected on September 20, 2016. Let us know what you think of the InSight mission in the comments section below and we’ll keep you updated as time goes on.