Untitled Document
  • Introduction
    • InSight

       

      Mission Website

      InSight


      The InSight (Interior exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) mission is a terrestrial planet explorer that will place a geophysical lander on Mars to study its deep interior. InSight will give us a glimpse into the processes that shaped the formation of the rocky planets of the inner solar system, including Earth, more than four billion years ago.

       

      Mission Management

       
      Dr. W. Bruce Banerdt
      Dr. W. Bruce Banerdt
      Principal Investigator

      The InSight mission is managed for NASA by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, CA. The Principal Investigator is W. Bruce Banerdt of JPL. Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Denver is building the spacecraft.

       
       
         
         
         
         
  • Science Objectives
    • The InSight mission will travel to Mars to carry out Earth science, bringing insight into the early evolution of the terrestrial planets. InSight will also investigate the dynamics of Martian tectonic activity and meteorite impacts, which could offer clues about these phenomena on Earth.

       

      InSight's primary goals are to:

       

      1.

      Understand the formation and evolution of terrestrial planets through investigation of the interior structure and processes of Mars. This will be done by determining:

       
      Size, composition and physical state (liquid or solid) of the core
      Thickness and structure of the crust
      Composition and structure of the mantle
      Thermal state of the interior
         

      2.

      Determine the present level of tectonic activity and meteorite impact rate on Mars by measuring:

       

      Magnitude, rate and geographical distribution of internal seismic activity
      Rate of meteorite impacts on the surface
       
      Artist concept of the Mars interior
      Artist concept of the Mars interior, illustrating how the rocky bodies in the solar system form, differentiate, and evolve into terrestrial planets.
      Credit: JPL/NASA
       
  • Details
    •    

      What lies beneath the surface of Mars? While many orbiters and rovers have investigated the Red Planet and made tremendous discoveries, the mysteries lurking below have not yet been uncovered. InSight will delve under the surface, going deep into the never before explored interior of Mars, to examine why Mars traveled such a different evolutionary path than Earth.


      Scheduled to launch in March 2016, with arrival at Mars six months later, science operations will be performed over two years. The InSight lander will carry three instruments:

      Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS): a seismometer that will take precise measurements of quakes and other internal activity on Mars to better understand the planet's history and structure.

      Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package (HP3): a heat flow probe that will hammer five meters into the Martian subsurface to learn how much heat is coming from Mars' interior, how the heat flows underground, and to reveal the planet's thermal history.

      Rotation and Interior Structure Experiment (RISE): RISE will measure the Doppler shift and ranging of radio communications sent between InSight and Earth to provide precise measurements of planetary rotation and determine the distribution of the planet's internal structures.


      Watch an animation of InSight deploying its instruments.

      InSight will have a camera mounted on the arm of the lander to capture black and white images of the instruments on the lander's deck and a 3-D view of the ground where the seismometer and heat flow probe will be placed. It will then be used to help engineers and scientists guide the deployment of the instruments to the ground. With a 45-degree field of view, the camera will also provide a panoramic view of the terrain surrounding the landing site.

      A second similar camera will be mounted under the edge of the lander's deck to provide a complementary view of the instrument deployment area.

      InSight will attempt to determine whether Mars' core is liquid or solid and why its crust does not appear to be composed of drifting tectonic plates like the Earth's. This information could help scientists better understand how rocky planets form and evolve and lay the groundwork for a future human mission to Mars.


       




      InSight
      Artist's concept of the InSight lander with instruments deployed.
       
  • Noteworthy
    • Got marsquakes? InSight's "What's Shaking on Mars" initiative uses seismology to bring the dynamics of tectonic activity into the classroom, showing students how marsquakes reveal the secrets deep inside planetary interiors that can tell us how they formed and evolved.

      IRIS's Seismographs in Schools program brings real-time seismic data to K-16 classrooms worldwide.
      IRIS's Seismographs in Schools program brings real-time seismic data to K-16 classrooms worldwide.

      InSight's measurements of tremors and quake activity on Mars will be available to middle and high school classrooms worldwide, allowing students to monitor seismic activity on Mars as it happens, right from their classroom. The aim is to help students understand comparative planetology using authentic Mars mission data. InSight has special plans to work with underserved schools in seismically active regions across the U.S. to broaden their knowledge about events in their communities.


      The IRIS Seismic Monitor offers near real-time global seismic data along with earthquake information for the previous 30 days, earthquake headlines, and learning opportunities for students and teachers.
      The IRIS Seismic Monitor offers near real-time global seismic data along with earthquake information for the previous 30 days, earthquake headlines, and learning opportunities for students and teachers.


      Key partners are IRIS (Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology) and the Southern California Earthquake Center. IRIS promotes the use of seismic data to advance awareness and understanding of seismology and Earth science and to foster better understanding of the internal processes of Earth and other terrestrial planets. IRIS collaborates with educational seismology programs throughout the world, with a wide range of materials that will be adapted by InSight to allow students to compare seismic data from Earth and Mars.


      Seismogram for the Queen Charlotte Islands, Canada, 7.7 earthquake on 2012-10-28.
      Seismogram for the Queen Charlotte Islands, Canada, 7.7 earthquake on 2012-10-28.


      The public will be able to follow marsquakes also, with InSight's "Shake, Rattle, and Roll" app that will be developed for mobile phones. Users will receive notifications of both earth and mars quakes, along with visual displays of seismograph data.



 

 

 

 

 

  •  
  •  

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    INSIGHT Website