World Bulletin / News Desk
NASA is poised to launch its first lander to Mars since 2012, an unmanned spacecraft called InSight that aims to listen for quakes and unravel the mystery of how rocky planets like Earth form.
Since the Earth and Mars likely formed by similar processes 4.5 billion years ago, the US space agency hopes the lander -- officially known as Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) -- will shed light on what made them so different.
"How we get from a ball of featureless rock into a planet that may or may not support life is a key question in planetary science," said Bruce Banerdt, InSight principal investigator at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
"We'd like to be able to understand what happened."
On Earth, these processes have been obscured over billions of years by earthquakes and the movement of molten rock in the mantle, he said.
But Mars, the fourth planet from the Sun and Earth's smaller and less geologically active neighbor, may yield more clues.Last Mod: 04 Mayıs 2018, 09:24