American space agency NASA or National Aeronautics & Space Administration has recently announced that it will be postponing the launch of its InSight spacecraft due to a vacuum leak spotted in one of the seismometers of the probe. For those who don’t know: InSight has been built for making a trip to Mars.
The seismometer, in which the leak was diagnosed, is capable of measuring ground movements as tiny as an atom. Experts are saying that the leak is unlikely to get mended before the scheduled day of launch.
According to information published on the space agency’s official website, if the leak doesn’t get fixed, the probe will not be able to complete its job of measuring the seismic activity of the Red Planet. Understanding the nature of the Marsquakes is extremely important for gathering knowledge about the kind of materials constituting the planet’s core.
NASA is saying that as a result of having a similar formation and evolution as that of our home planet Earth, Mars has a lot in store for the scientists to discover. So, learning how Mars works will also help us to know our planet even better.
InSight or Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy & Heat Transport is a spacecraft developed by NASA as part of its plan of invading Mars. The agency developed the probe to execute its plan of sending a lander to the Red Planet for studying the planet’s deep interior. The spacecraft’s principal investigator is Bruce Banerdt; he is currently deployed at the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
InSight has been designed in a way so that it can investigate the interior of Mars and reveal how rocky planets like Earth and Mars formed and evolved. According to experts, Mars is still retaining evidence of the early development of rocky planets, something that has already been erased from Earth. They say that the evidence has been erased as unlike Mars, the Earth has experienced significant internal churning.
By gathering information about the crust, mantle and core of the Red Planet, scientists will be taking planetary science a step further, a purpose for which InSight was originally built.