InSite – The Newest Mars Probe

InSite is a static lander, which landed on the 26th of November 2018. It landed on the Elysium Planitia, which is just a large desolate plain with looser surface material and is probably the most boring place on Mars but has good ground contact.

However it isn’t east getting stuff to mars there is only a 40% success rate. This is because the red planets atmosphere is only 1% of Earths meaning that if you come in fast you will burn up but it is not thick enough for a parachute to work. So when people say land on mars they normally mean controlled crash!

InSite, after deploying its solar panels

InSite is the first mission to mars dedicated to studying the interior of mars. It is looking at the Crust Mantle and Core. It is also trying to answer questions like, is their tectonic activity on mars? or is their still enough energy in the planet to power volcanic activity?

The inside of a planet is key to life on it because it generates a gravitational field, the atmosphere and volcanic activity which might seem destructive but is important in creating new land and keeping the atmosphere stable. So this mission may reveal if there is or ever was life on Mars. 

InSite, using its robotic arm to deploy equipment

To find out about this InSite will be taking lots of readings and to do this it has to deploy Seismometers, Heat probes and Burrowing mole which will dig into the crust to take more readings. But before any of this it has to open its solar panels because it needs power so if this fails the mission is dead before it has even begun. After that it will take some photos, of itself and its working area. Then will begin deploying the instruments using it robotic arm and relaying information back to earth through satellites.

Post Author: Thomas Simpson