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After InSight, Planet Earth working on three more Mars landers, orbiters

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 01 December 2018, 08:30 PM
Planet Earth is working on three more landers and two orbiters to join the Martian brigade (File photo)
Planet Earth is working on three more landers and two orbiters to join the Martian brigade (File photo)

After InSight's successful landing on Mars on a mission to study the red planet, Planet Earth is working on three more landers and two orbiters to join the Martian brigade.

A robotic Mars lander, NASA's InSight was designed to study the deep interior of the planet Mars. The spacecraft, which was launched on May 5, 2018, aboard an Atlas V-401 rocket, from Vandenberg Air Force Base in Central California landed successfully at Elysium Planitia on Mars on Monday.

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As the new Mars resident landed, NASA said in a statement: "The vehicle sits slightly tilted (about 4 degrees) in a shallow dust- and sand-filled impact crater known as a 'hollow”.

"We couldn't be happier," said InSight project manager Tom Hoffman of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in the statement.

Insight, NASA's eighth successful Martian lander, will be on two-year science mission, digging for rocks that might hold evidence of ancient microbial life and stash them in a safe place for return to Earth.

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Manufactured by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, NASA's Mars lander's main objectives are "to place a seismometer, called SEIS, on the surface of Mars to measure seismic activity and provide accurate 3D models of the planet's interior; and measure internal heat flow using a heat probe called HP3 to study Mars' early geological evolution".

Meanwhile, the Chinese Mars 2020 will feature both an orbiter and lander. The UAE also plans to send its first spacecraft, an orbiter, to Mars in 2020, according to an AP report.

First Published: Saturday, December 01, 2018 07:58 PM

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