NASAâ€™s InSight mission delayed until 2018 owing to a vacuum leak
NASA on Wednesday announced that it has rescheduled it's next unmanned mission to Mars to 2018 owing to a vacuum leak in the prime science instrument of the lander. The space agency had earlier planned to launch the Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Hea
News Nation Bureau | Updated : 10 March 2016, 12:58:49 PM
The Insight Mission
The InSight missionâ€™s goal is to analyze the deep interior of Mars and determine how â€˜rocky planetsâ€™ including Earth formed and evolved. According to NASA, this mission is scheduling a new expected launch window beginning May 5, 2018.This is considered one of the most awaited space projects of NASA to gain more information about the texture and evolution of the red planet. CNES, the French space agency, is in charge of the seismic instrument that turned troublesome
All about the red planet
The mission will help to determine the state of the red planet, whether its liquid or solid and why its surface is not made of moving tectonic plates like Earth. While understanding the interiors of Mars has been a long quest for planetary scientists.
The delay due to the vacuum leak is better explained here- the seismometer, provided by Francesâ€™ space agency, designed to measure ground movements as small as the diametre of an atom requires a vacuum seal around its three main sensors to withstand the harsh conditions of the Martian environment.
How much the delay cost?
NASA also said that the cost of the two-year delay is being assessed with an estimate expected in August. The total cost of the mission was budgeted at $675 million (roughly Rs. 4,534 crores), of which $525 million (roughly Rs. 3,527 crores) had been spent by December 2015, going by NASA estimates.
NASA's Mars missions
US space agency is currently working on three Mars missions with European Space Agency and also plans to send another rover to the red planet in 2020. A manned mission to Mars is set for the 2030s.