NASA's InSight lander opens a window into the "inner space" of Mars. Its instruments peer deeper than ever into the Martian subsurface, seeking the signatures of the processes that shaped the rocky planets of the inner Solar System, more than four billion years ago. InSight's findings are expected to shed light on the formation of Mars, Earth, and even rocky exoplanets.
The lander builds on the proven design of NASA's Mars Phoenix lander. InSight's over 7-foot-long (2.4-meter-long) robotic arm lifts a seismometer and heat-flow probe from the deck and places them on the surface. The camera on the arm will provide color 3D views of the landing site, instrument placement, and activities. Sensors measure weather and magnetic field variations.
Tools to aid the lander:
- Length: 19 feet 8 inches (6 meters) with solar panels deployed ("wingspan")
- Width: 5 feet 1 inch (1.56 meters) (lander deck diameter)
- Deck Height: 33 to 43 inches (83 to 108 centimeters)
- Length of Robotic Arm: 7 feet 10 inches (2.4 meters)
- Weight: 794 pounds (360 kilograms)
- Electrical Power: Two solar panels, about 7 feet (2.2 meters) each in diameter
- Science Instruments: 3 (a seismometer, heat probe and a radio science experiment)