NASA Moves One Step Closer to Continuing Exploration of the Solar SystemLockheed Martin announced it has completed assembly of NASA’s InSight Mars Spacecraft. The craft will be the next NASA vehicle to travel to Mars and will be the first mission devoted to understanding the interior structure of the Red Planet.
With assembly completed, the craft will next undergo critical environmental testing. The objective of this testing will be to determine if InSight can survive the 140 million mile journey between Earth and Mars, land, and conduct its critical science mission.
Engineers at Lockheed’s Space Systems facilities in Denver, Colorado, will subject InSight to extreme vibration and noise similar to conditions it will experience during launch. They will then expose the spacecraft to cold and vacuum in order to replicate the trans-Mars voyage. Finally, the test team will simulate what Lockheed describes as “the gauntlet of entry through the Martian atmosphere.”