This image provided by NASA shows an artist rendition of the proposed InSight (Interior exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) Lander.

, Associated Press - Ap

The next flight to Mars

  • August 25, 2012 - 4:15 PM


In the wake of successfully dropping the Curiosity rover on Mars this month, NASA will send another robot to the Red Planet in 2016 to drill into the planet's crust and, for the first time, piece together a picture of the Martian interior. The $425 million robotic lander, named InSIGHT, will be built and operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology, home of the now-famous engineers and scientists who designed and assembled the $2.5 billion Curiosity rover. InSIGHT will be planted in one spot after dropping onto the surface, and then a drill will pound 30 feet into the crust to take the temperature of the planet, while a seismometer will detect any Marsquakes. "We'll be able to deduce the deep structure of Mars, which now is a total mystery," said Gregg Vane, the lab's head of planning for solar system exploration.


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