NASA's Insight mission delayed by 2018
Updated On : 10 Mar 2016,12:58 PM
The InSight mission’s goal is to analyze the deep interior of Mars and determine how ‘rocky planets’ 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
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 Frances’ 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.
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.
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.