Mars InSight Mission Launch Date Set Once Again, NASA Confirms [VIDEO]By Ron S., UniversityHerald Reporter
NASA had set another launch date for the Mars InSight mission, which was initially set 6 months ago, for a 2018 launch on March.
The InSight lander is to set on a voyage to Mars to observe and collect precious data of geological features, as well as activity, to further our understanding on the Red Planet's surface, according to The Space Reporter.
The Science Mission Directorate of NASA has finally approved the new launch date, and the agency is now poised to delivery on the day. The InSight mission was initially set to launch on March early this year, but due to technical difficulties, which include a vacuum leak on one of its instruments.
InSight, which is short for The Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport, is set to land on Mars and stay for 1 Martian year, which is about 687 days on Earth, Spaceflight Insider reported.
The InSight mission would be able to provide valuable information, which would ultimately boost humankind's efforts to reach the Red Planet soon.
NASA had made it public its intentions to build a habitable space laboratory on Mars, which it hopes to achieve the goal by at least 2020. Meanwhile, SpaceX had claimed that it can bring humans to the Red Planet in as early as 2020, along with probes which are set to reach the planet on 2018, according to Digital Trends.
The initial problem discovered concerning the vacuum chamber is set to be repaired by scientists and engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The repair could eventually lead to a redesign, rather than a relatively simple patch up.
The total costs of the repair is estimated to be at $153.8 million, which significantly increases the cost of the project from $674 million.
Scientists at NASA seems to have a firm grasp of the project despite the cost, as the agency cites that the vacuum chamber needs to be as such just for the sake of the safety of its three main sensors.
The InSight probe would be boosted into space aboard the Atlas V booster, which was designed by United Launch Alliance. The launch is set to take place at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.