The Next Robot To Land On Mars Will Drill Deep Into The Planet's Core

Insight landerAn artist’s rendition of the proposed InSight lander.

Photo: NASA

Just two weeks after landing one-ton roving laboratory Curiosity on Mars, NASA is already preparing for its next big project on the Red Planet: To land a robot on Mars that will delve deep into the planet’s core.   Funding for a $425 million lander, called InSight, was announced Monday, beating out two other proposed space missions to either vist a comet or explore Saturn’s moon, Titan, The Washington Post’s Brain Vastag reports.

The InSight lander borrows its design from the lander used in the 2008 Phoenix mission to study ground ice near the north pole of Mars. 

While Curiosity is designed to spend two years investigating the surface of Mars, including rocks, canyons and soil, to determine whether the Red Planet was, or still is, able to support microbial life, the main goal of InSight will be go to beneath the planet’s surface to find out how rocky planets like Mars formed, says NASA

InSight is set to launch in March 2016 and will arrive on the planet six months later.  

You can read more about the InSight mission here

More Mars:

  • Imagine You’re Walking On Mars With This Interactive Panorama
  • Curiosity Rover Takes An Adorable Self-Portrait
  • These Are The Conditions A Human Would Face On Mars
  • The Mars Rover Can ‘Dream’

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