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NASA plans to send the first Robotic InSight lander that will explore the Red’s planet’s subsurface. InSight is a robotic Mars lander designed to explore the interior and subsurface of Mars. InSight lander is going to launch from the California coast to the surface of Mars on May 5, 2018. In addition, it is the first time launching to another planet from the West Coast. InSight lander, which stands for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, will study marsquakes to know about the Martian crust, mantle and core.
The goal is learning how planets are born. Like Earth, Mars and other rocky planets have a crust, mantle and core. And Mars has tectonic plates, too, although fewer than Earth does.
Seismology, the study of quakes, has already revealed some of the answers here on Earth, said Bruce Banerdt, Insight’s principal investigator at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California. But Earth has been churning its geologic record for billions of years, hiding its most ancient history. Mars, at half the size of Earth, churns far less: it’s a fossil planet, preserving the history of its early birth NASA claimed on its web site.
“During formation, this ball of featureless rock metamorphosed into a diverse and fascinating planet, almost like caterpillar to a butterfly,” Banerdt said. “We want to use seismology to learn why Mars formed the way it did, and how planets take shape in general.”
According to the NASA InSight is not the first mission to do seismology.
The Viking landers tried to conduct seismology on Mars in the late 1970s. But those seismometers were located on top of the landers. Seismometers, like InSight’s SEIS instrument, measure the size, frequency and speed of these quakes, offering scientists a snapshot of the material they pass through: explains NASA . “A seismometer is like a camera that takes an image of a planet’s interior,” Banerdt said. “It’s a bit like taking a CT scan of a planet.”