Saturday, 5 May 2018

NASA launches mission to investigate Mars



NASA has launched a mission to Mars which, if successful, may help reveal the planet's internal secrets and suggest if it was ever habitable.
 
The InSight mission successfully launched before dawn on Saturday in California (12.05pm UK time) on a powerful Atlas V-401 rocket, but the whole mission is far from a confirmed success.


Mars is a difficult planet to investigate. Its thin atmosphere makes landing a challenge and its extreme temperature swings make it very difficult for missions to be conducted on the surface.


NASA is warning onlookers that only 40% of the missions ever sent to Mars have been successful.


The mobile service tower is rolled back from the rocket this morning. Pic: NASA


InSight, which stands for Interior Exploration Using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport, hopes to place a single lander spacecraft on Mars.


NASA says the mission will help scientists understand what is happening around the planet's core.


It will also help explain how all rocky planets, including the Earth, evolved. There are significant mysteries here, because while both Mars and the Earth were formed from the same stuff more than 4.5 billion years ago, they are now very different planets.




SKY    News.