Proposed Mars mission has new name

Feb 28, 2012
Artist rendition of the proposed InSight (Interior exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) Lander. InSight is based on the proven Phoenix Mars spacecraft and lander design with state-of-the-art avionics from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory missions. Image credit: JPL/NASA

A proposed Discovery mission concept led by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., to investigate the formation and evolution of terrestrial planets by studying the deep interior of Mars now has a new name, InSight.

InSight stands for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport and is a partnership involving JPL, , the (CNES), the German Aerospace Center (DLR), and other NASA centers. The previous name for the proposal was GEMS (GEophysical Monitoring Station). NASA requested that name be reserved for an astrophysics mission known as the Gravity and Extreme Magnetism Small Explorer, which was already in development.

"We chose the name InSight because we would literally peer into the interior of Mars to map out its structure," said JPL's Bruce Banerdt, the principal investigator. "With our geophysical instruments we will be able to see right through to the center of Mars, and will be able to map out how deeply the crust extends as well as the size of the core."

InSight is one of three missions vying to be selected for flight in the Discovery Program, a series of NASA missions to understand the solar system by exploring planets, moons, and small bodies such as comets and asteroids. All three mission teams are required to submit concept study reports to NASA on March 19.

Explore further: Europe sat-nav launch glitch linked to frozen pipe

More information: For more information, visit insight.jpl.nasa.gov/ .

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User comments : 4

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Lurker2358
4.7 / 5 (3) Feb 28, 2012
For goodness sake, why can't we just make a blueprint of one omni-probe for Mars, and send 6 copies of it to the planet.

Each probe will have at least one copy of every known instrument, including a anemometer for wind speed, and a seismometer for measuring seismic events, in addition to lasers, rock drills, cameras, spectrometers, and nano-sensor packages, so you can do everything in one go with minimal design cost.

It's getting ridiculous designing and re-designing a one-off probe to do just one pathetic experiment every 5 to 10 years at a half billion to 2 billion dollars each.
The Singularity
4 / 5 (4) Feb 28, 2012
If this were to land on Europa it would be a far more interesting prospect. By the time interest in the curiosity mission peaks we'll all be fed up of hearing about Mars all of the time.
Please go somewhere new & interesting.
Skepticus
1 / 5 (1) Feb 28, 2012
With all the budget cut, chances are the probe will stay proposed, and named Insipid.Sigh!
antialias_physorg
not rated yet Feb 29, 2012
Each probe will have at least one copy of every known instrument, including a anemometer for wind speed, and a seismometer for measuring seismic events, in addition to lasers, rock drills, cameras, spectrometers, and nano-sensor packages, so you can do everything in one go with minimal design cost.

Because that would cost a gazillion dollars?


It's getting ridiculous designing and re-designing a one-off probe to do just one pathetic experiment every 5 to 10 years

Instruments are getting better. New instruments are being devised all the time. OF COURSE you have to redesign this stuff for every mission.

Please go somewhere new & interesting.

This stuff is done for science (which has some real benefit to humanity). Not for "the people's interest in it" (which has no benefit to humanity)