. Mars Exploration News .

New Mars mission to take first look at what's going on deep inside the Red Planet
by Staff Writers
London, UK (SPX) Aug 23, 2012

Artist rendition of the formation of rocky bodies in the solar system. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech.

A UK Space Agency-funded instrument, designed to investigate the interior structure and processes of Mars, has been selected to travel to the Red Planet on NASA's newly announced InSight mission. The new mission, set to launch in 2016, will take the first look into the deep interior of Mars to investigate why, as one of our solar system's rocky planets, the Red Planet evolved so differently from Earth

The UK-funded SEIS-SP is a Seismometer that will listen for "marsquakes" and use this information to map the boundaries between the rock layers inside Earth's neighbour.

This will help determine if the planet has a liquid or solid core, and provide some clues as to why its surface is not divided up into tectonic plates as on Earth.

Detailed knowledge of the interior of Mars in comparison to Earth will help scientists understand better how terrestrial planets form and evolve. The SEIS-SP will be provided by space scientists at Imperial College London and the University of Oxford.

Dr David Williams, Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency, said, "We are delighted that Dr Pike and his team will be playing a crucial role in the InSight mission.

Placing the first seismometer on Mars has long been a goal of international scientists, and this is a great example of the pioneering, world-class science and technology supported by the UK Space Agency.

The technical challenge is significant but the UK team are proving themselves more than equal to it. The scientific outcomes may well revolutionise our understanding of Mars - and by extension its nearest neighbour: Earth. Where previous Mars missions have scratched the surface, InSight will be digging deeper for the planet's secrets."

Dr Tom Pike, Principal Investigator for the UK seismometer and Reader in Microengineering at Imperial College London, added, "We are delighted to be playing a key part in a mission which will deliver ground-breaking science and technology; InSight will be the first mission to look at the deep interior of another planet. To fully understand how a planet has evolved, and what processes are still active today, requires knowledge of its deep structure.

"This in turn tells us how much the interior, surface and atmosphere of Mars have interacted over its history, with important implications for the possibility of life early in its evolution."

The InSight spacecraft will be a static lander that will carry four instruments. The UK SEIS-SP is one of three seismometers that make up the SEIS instrument. There will also be two cameras and a robotic arm; a sensor that will very accurately determine the degree to which the planet wobbles on its axis; and a probe that will be pushed into the planet's surface to reveal how the planet is cooling.

All the data combined will inform researchers about the internal state of Mars today and how it has changed through the aeons.

Previous exploration of Mars has revealed that the Red Planet was much more geologically active in the past. What has not been established is when and why this activity ceased.

InSight will not only help us to better understand what happened to Mars's geological activity and atmosphere but will give us an insight into whether the internal structure of Earth is a special case or a more general one.

Related Links
UK Space Agency
Mars News and Information at MarsDaily.com
Lunar Dreams and more

Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries


. Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

New NASA Mission to Take First Look Deep Inside Mars
Washington DC (SPX) Aug 21, 2012
NASA has selected a new mission, set to launch in 2016, that will take the first look into the deep interior of Mars to see why the Red Planet evolved so differently from Earth as one of our solar system's rocky planets. The new mission, named InSight, will place instruments on the Martian surface to investigate whether the core of Mars is solid or liquid like Earth's, and why Mars' crust ... read more

Neil Armstrong: First man on the moon

US astronaut Neil Armstrong dead at 82

Obama hails 'great American hero' Neil Armstrong

Chinese firm to send Spanish rover to moon in 2014

China unveils ambitious space projects

China's manned spacecraft in final preparations for mid-June launch

Is China Going to Blast Past America in Space?

Hong Kong people share joy of China's manned space program

Europe's ATV-3 Space Freighter Raises ISS Orbit to 420 km

Russia's ISS Crew Members Complete Spacewalk

Sierra Nevada Supports Communications Experiment on ISS

Space station orbit successfully adjusted

e2v To Supply Large CMOS Imaging Sensors For Imaging Kuiper Belt Objects

Fly New Horizons through the Kuiper Belt

Hubble Discovers a Fifth Moon Orbiting Pluto

Hubble telescope spots fifth moon near Pluto

Giant Ice Avalanches On Iapetus Provide Clue To Extreme Slippage Elsewhere In The Solar System

River networks on Titan point to a puzzling geologic history

Cassini Spots Daytime Lightning on Saturn

Saturn's Rings are Back

Landsat Data Continuity Mission Environmental Testing is Underway

Expert Analysis of Energy Infrastructure Using HiRes Satellite Imagery

Vecmap tracks the Asian bush mosquito

NASA Selects Combined Data Services Contract For Polar Satellites

Sarah Brightman In Talks Over Space Trip

Research and Technology Studies 2012

Singer Sarah Brightman could be next space tourist: report

For US students, plane tickets, TVs are relics

First Evidence Discovered of Planet's Destruction by Its Star

Exoplanet hosting stars give further insights on planet formation

Five Potential Habitable Exoplanets Now

RIT Leads Development of Next-generation Infrared Detectors

Memory Foam Mattress Review

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement