NASA testing Mars lander for 2016 mission

NASA is testing a stationary car-sized Mars lander scheduled to launch in March 2016, that will be the first mission devoted to understanding the interior structure of the Red planet.

Examining the planet’s deep interior could reveal clues about how all rocky planets, including Earth, formed and evolved, NASA said.

The lander is called InSight or Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport. It is about the size of a car and will be the first mission devoted to understanding the interior structure of the Red planet. The current testing will help ensure InSight can operate in and survive deep space travel and the harsh conditions of the Martian surface.

The spacecraft will lift off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, and land on Mars about six months later. The technical capabilities and knowledge gained from Insight, and other Mars missions, are crucial to NASA’s journey to Mars, which includes sending astronauts to the Red Planet in the 2030s, the U.S space agency said.

(Agency)