NASA reschedules launch of troubled Mars lander to 2018

Washington, March 10 (IANS) US space agency NASA said on Wednesday that its Mars lander is now targeting a new launch window that begins May 5, 2018, with a Mars landing scheduled for November 26, 2018.

“We’re excited to be back on the path,” John Grunsfeld, NASA’s associate administrator, said in a statement, Xinhua reported.

NASA originally planned to launch the Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) mission this month, but it was forced to call it off in December due to a vacuum leak in the prime science instrument of the lander.

The instrument involved was the Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS), a seismometer provided by the French Space Agency (CNES) that will help answer questions about the interior structure and processes within the deep Martian interior.

Designed to measure ground movements as small as the diametre of an atom, the instrument requires a vacuum seal around its three main sensors to withstand the harsh conditions of the Martian environment.

In announcing the new schedule, NASA said that its Jet Propulsion Laboratory will redesign, build and conduct qualifications of the new vacuum enclosure for the SEIS that failed in December’s leak testing and that the CNES will lead instrument level integration and test activities.

The US agency also said the cost of the two-year delay is being assessed with an estimate expected in August.

The InSight spacecraft, built by Lockheed Martin, was sent back to the company’s facility in Colorado last month for storage until spacecraft preparations resume in 2017, it added.

Leave a Reply

Please enter your comment!

The opinions, views, and thoughts expressed by the readers and those providing comments are theirs alone and do not reflect the opinions of or any employee thereof. is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the readers. Responsibility for the content of comments belongs to the commenter alone.  

We request the readers to refrain from posting defamatory, inflammatory comments and not indulge in personal attacks. However, it is obligatory on the part of to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments to the concerned authorities upon their request.

Hence we request all our readers to help us to delete comments that do not follow these guidelines by informing us at Lets work together to keep the comments clean and worthful, thereby make a difference in the community.

Please enter your name here