NASA mission to the ‘heart’ of Mars

NASA mission to the ‘heart’ of Mars


NASA’s first-ever mission to study the deep interior of Mars is on schedule to launch this week

InSight & MarCO

  • InSight: The Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) is the first planetary mission to take off from the West Coast of U.S. It is the first outer space robotic explorer to study in-depth the “inner space” of Mars: its crust, mantle, and core
    • Studying Mars’ interior structure answers key questions about the early formation of rocky planets in our inner solar system – Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars – more than 4 billion years ago, as well as rocky exoplanets
    • InSight also measures tectonic activity and meteorite impacts on Mars today
  • MarCO: Launching on the same rocket is a separate NASA technology experiment known as Mars Cube One (MarCO), which consists of two mini-spacecraft and will be the first test of CubeSat technology in deep space. The lander will study the deep interior of Mars to learn how all rocky planets formed, including Earth and its Moon


CubeSats are a class of spacecraft based on a standardized small size and modular use of off-the-shelf technologies. Many have been made by university students, and dozens have been launched into Earth orbit using extra payload mass available on launches of larger spacecraft

Print Friendly and PDF