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InSight … into the Early Evolution of Terrestrial

InSight (Interior exploration using Seismic Investi- by detecting the fingerprints of those processes bur- gations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) is a NASA ied deep within the interior of . mission that will place a single geophysical on Mars to study its deep inte- The payload comprises two instruments: rior. But InSight is more than a Mars mission — it is the Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS), a terrestrial explorer that will open a window provided by the French Space Agency (CNES), into the processes that shaped the rocky planets of with the participation of the Institut de Physique du the inner system (including ) more than Globe de Paris (IPGP), the Swiss Federal Institute of four billion years ago. By using sophisticated geo- (ETH), the Max--Institute for Solar physical instruments, it will address fundamental System Research (MPS), Imperial College and the questions about the formation of Earth-like planets Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL); and the Heat Flow

InSight is based on the proven InSight Mission Overview Mars spacecraft Launch opens — May 5, 2018 and lander design with state-of- Landing — November 26, 2018 the-art avionics Surface operations — 728 days / 708 sols from the Mars Instrument deployment — About 60 sols (including 20 sols Reconnaissance margin) and Grav- Data volume over 1 Martian year — More than 29 GB ity Recovery and (processed seismic data posted to the Web in 2 weeks; Interior Laboratory remaining science data less than 3 months, no proprietary missions. period) and Physical Properties Package (HP3), provided by the German test, launch operations and mission operations support. CNES Space Agency (DLR). In addition, the Rotation and Interior Struc- would manage, integrate and deliver the SEIS, and DLR would ture Experiment (RISE), led by JPL, will use the spacecraft com- build and deliver HP3. Centro de Astrobiología (CAB) of Spain will munication system to provide precise measurements of planetary supply and air sensors. rotation. This instrumentation will be carried by the proven Phoe- Lander, built by Space Systems, providing The Structure of Terrestrial Planets low-cost, low-risk access to the surface of Mars. Terrestrial (rocky) planets all share similar structures, with chemi- cally distinct crusts, mantles and cores. Although their bulk com- Science Goals and Objectives positions are roughly the same as that of , the primitive 1. Understand the formation and evolution of building blocks of the , their “construction” is far terrestrial planets through investigation of the from uniform and none of the rocks found in them today are at all interior structure and processes of Mars by: like meteorites. These bodies reached their current overall struc- • Determining the size, composition and physical state ture through the process of melting and differentiation, a process (liquid/solid) of the core. that is poorly understood.

• Determining the thickness and structure of the . During differentiation, the molten outer portions of the planet • Determining the composition and structure of the . (sometimes called a “magma ”) cool and crystallize into • Determining the thermal state of the interior. various minerals, depending on the temperature, and the chemical composition of the melt, all of which vary with . 2. Determine the present level of tectonic activity and Lighter minerals rise toward the surface to form the primary impact rate on Mars. crust, while heavier minerals sink to form the mantle, and much of the iron and nickel form a metallic core at the center of the • Measure the magnitude, rate and geographical distribution planet. Many of the fundamental characteristics that define the of internal seismic activity. planets today, such as the composition of the surface rocks, • Measure the rate of meteorite impacts on the surface. the level of volcanic and tectonic activity, the composition of the atmosphere and the presence or absence of a , Project Team depend on the details of how these processes acted in the first The InSight Principal Investigator (PI) is W. Banerdt of hundred million years after formation. the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL); the Deputy PI is (JPL). The Project Manager is Tom Hoffman and the Studying Mars to Understand Planet Formation Deputy Project Manager is Henry Stone. The SEIS Instrument It happens that Mars is in the “sweet spot” — big enough to 3 PI is Philippe Lognonné of IPGP, and the HP Instrument PI is have undergone of the early processes that fundamentally Tilman Spohn of the DLR Institute of Planetary Research. The shaped the terrestrial bodies (, , Earth, Earth’s international science team includes Co-Investigators from the and Mars), but small enough to have retained the signature , France, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Canada, of those processes for the next four billion years (unlike Earth). Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. That signature is revealed in the basic structural building blocks of the planet: crust thickness and global layering, core size and Mission Partners , and mantle density and stratification. The rate at which InSight is managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, heat is escaping from the interior provides an additional valuable Institute of Technology. JPL is also responsible for science constraint. leadership, systems , navigation, mission operations and the instrument deployment arm and camera. InSight would address a fundamental issue of solar system sci- ence, not just specific questions about a single planet. By study- Lockheed Martin Corporation is responsible for ing Mars, InSight would illuminate the earliest evolution of rocky spacecraft development, spacecraft assembly, integration and planets, including Earth.

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