Floor time with InSight as technicians ready the Mars lander for launch next year.
Credit: Barbara David

Littleton, Colorado – NASA’s next Mars mission is reaching “ship and shoot” status, a lander geared next year to start probing the Red Planet’s deep interior and even eavesdrop on rumbling Marsquakes.

As spacecraft names go, it’s a mouthful: Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport. That has been mercifully shortened to InSight.

Handle with care. InSight technicians give thumbs-up for Mars lander sendoff and landing on the Red Planet next year.
Credit: Barbara David

Here at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company – builder of the Mars-bound craft – technicians are in busy bee, touchy feely status  with InSight while garbed in less than stylish “bunny suits” to help keep human contaminants from getting a free ride to the planet.

For a detailed, inside look at InSight, go to my new Scientific American article –NASA’s Next Mars Lander Zooms toward Launch – at:

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/nasa-rsquo-s-next-mars-lander-zooms-toward-launch/

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