NASA’S Mission InSight: Planet Mars
#GS3 Science and Technology- Developments and their Applications and Effects in Everyday Life.
NASA's Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) landed on Mars at the end of 2018.
- This two-year mission will study the deep interior of Mars to learn how all celestial bodies with rocky surfaces, including Earth and the Moon were formed.
- NASA’s Discovery Program was started in 1992- The InSight mission is part of it.
This is the first mission to peer deep beneath the Martian surface, studying the planet’s interior by measuring its heat output and listening for marsquakes, which are seismic events similar to earthquakes on Earth.
Tools in the Mission:
- seismometer for detecting quakes,
- sensors for gauging wind and air pressure,
- a magnetometer,
- and a heat flow probe designed to take the planet’s temperature.
- The spacecraft which is located on Mars has made an estimate of the size of the Martian core.
- It finds that Mars’s core is about half the size of Earth’s core and measures between 1,810 and 1,860 kilometers.
- Insight scientists infer that the core must contain, in addition to iron and sulphur, lighter elements like oxygen.
Importance of the Mission:
Earlier missions on Mars have inferred features like canyons, volcanoes, rocks, and soil on the planet's surface.
However, signatures of the planet’s formation can only be understood by sensing and studying its features under the surface.