NASA suspends Upcoming Mission to Mars
The American space agency, NASA, recently announced that it has suspended its next mission to the Red Planet. The decision was taken after the agency experts found a leak in instruments that were built in Colorado.
Sources with knowledge about the matter said that the decision to cancel the new Mars lander, named InSight, was taken after agency engineers were unable to repair a major leak, which involves key scientific instruments.
John Grunsfeld, associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, said, “We push the boundaries of space technology with our missions to enable science, but space exploration is unforgiving, and the bottom line is that we're not ready to launch in the 2016 window”.
Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) was scheduled to be launched in March and was about to arrive on Mars in late September.
According to NASA, the spacecraft’s mission was to study Mars’ interior and help scientist to better understand the processes that led to the formation of rocky planets in our solar system about 4 billion years ago.
The mission has been put on hold due to a leak in the seismometer, an instrument made by France's Centre National d'Études Spatiales (CNES) and designed to measure ground movements as tiny as the diameter of an atom.
Marc Pircher, director of CNES's Toulouse Space Centre, said in a statement that it is for the first time when such a sensitive instrument has been built. Very soon, their team will find a solution to fix it, but as of now they have to cancel the 2016 launch, he added.
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