Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: Space enthusiasts, rejoice! If all goes according to procedure, then US space agency NASA might start its Mars probe mission in the year 2018.
NASA’s Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) mission to study the deep interior of Mars is targeting a new launch window that begins May 5, 2018, with a Mars landing scheduled for Nov. 26, 2018.
The spacecraft launch that was supposed to happen this month had to be delayed due to a vacuum leak in its prime science instrument in December.
So, the next time that Earth and Mars are close enough, NASA will launch the InSight, to allow a quick six-month trip.
As per the space agency, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, will redesign, build and conduct qualifications of the new vacuum enclosure for the Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS), the component that failed in December. CNES will lead instrument level integration and test activities, allowing the InSight Project to take advantage of each organization’s proven strengths. The two agencies have worked closely together to establish a project schedule that accommodates these plans, and scheduled interim reviews over the next six months to assess technical progress and continued feasibility.
NASA also quoted John Grunsfeld, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington, who said that, “The science goals of InSight are compelling, and the NASA and CNES plans to overcome the technical challenges are sound. The quest to understand the interior of Mars has been a longstanding goal of planetary scientists for decades. We’re excited to be back on the path for a launch, now in 2018.”