InSight probe to survey Mars for secrets inside the planet

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Mars InSight preparing for its launch last month.

According to nasa.gov, InSight is an acronym for Interior Exploration Using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport.

HP3 will take Mars' temperature as it burrows down almost 16 feet below the surface - deeper than any previous arms, scoops, drills or probes before it. Observations gained through insight will help scientists better understand how our solar system formed and the processes that brought each planet to the state it is in today. This new probe is meant to explore the deep interior of Mars.

InSight's launch will feature the first ever rocket to blast off from Vandenberg towards another world. Even the minuscule uplift of the ground caused by the gravitational pull of Mars's moon, Phobos, should register on its instruments.

NASA researchers and scientists are much keen about the structure and formation of the Earth.

Dr. Steve Hawley, an astronomy professor at the University of Kansas, says what we should remember about Mars is that it no longer has a magnetic field.

"We're hoping measurements of how fast is heat being lost and how quickly Mars is shrinking can help us answer that", Barrett said.

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Coverage of pre-launch activities can be viewed at nasa.gov and on NASA television.

The InSight mission combines a unique combination of scientific innovation and legacy technology.

"It's been 30 years of frustration and 10 years of getting ready to go to Mars", InSight Principal Investigator William "Bruce" Banerdt, a planetary scientist at NASA, told Newsweek. It will be NASA's first interplanetary mission launched from somewhere other than Florida's Cape Canaveral. The MarCO twins' job will be to listen to InSight during its entry and landing, then relay the data back to Earth.The veteran Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) will also be listening, so technically the mission doesn't need MarCO. Until now, the hundreds of CubeSats have been confined to Earth orbit. Two suitcase-size spacecraft will be launched on the same rocket. He meets EVE, a futuristic robot deployed to Earth to search for any signs of life and habitability. While it seems a relatively minor task for a mission that will span the vast distance between the Earth and Mars, it represents an important example of the utility of cubesats in deep space. "The further out you go, it gets harder and harder to send a big spacecraft".

"We have a do-no-harm philosophy for secondary payloads", Messer said.

InSight is scheduled to lift off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in on California's Central Coast as early as 4:05 a.m.

Space boffins and enthusiasts can watch the launch live from California thanks to NASA's round-the-clock streaming on NASA TV and NASA's YouTube channels.

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