Send Your Name To Mars

Animated image to get your boarding pass to fly your name on the next mission to Mars

Overview:  InSight (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) is a NASA Discovery Program mission that will place a single geophysical lander on Mars to study its deep interior.

But InSight is more than a Mars mission – it is a terrestrial planet explorer that will address one of the most fundamental issues of planetary and solar system science – understanding the processes that shaped the rocky planets of the inner solar system (including Earth) more than four billion years ago.

By using sophisticated geophysical instruments, InSight will delve deep beneath the surface of Mars, detecting the fingerprints of the processes of terrestrial planet formation, as well as measuring the planet’s “vital signs”: Its “pulse” (seismology), “temperature” (heat flow probe), and “reflexes” (precision tracking). InSight seeks to answer one of science’s most fundamental questions: How did the terrestrial planets form?

Why Mars?

Previous missions to Mars have investigated the surface history of the Red Planet by examining features like canyons, volcanoes, rocks and soil, but no one has attempted to investigate the planet’s earliest evolution – its building blocks – which can only be found by looking far below the surface.

InSight spacecraft

The solar arrays on NASA’s InSight lander are deployed in this test inside a clean room at Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver. This configuration is how the spacecraft will look on the surface of Mars. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Lockheed Martin

Over the next decade, a new generation of NASA spacecraft will strive to answer one of the most fundamental questions in planetary science: How were the planets created? Three NASA spacecraft have already been deployed on missions to investigate the origins of places like Jupiter, our Moon and giant asteroids. InSight will fill the missing link by studying the formation and evolution of terrestrial planets, like Mars and Earth.

InSight’s education and public outreach (E/PO) initiatives will focus on telling the story of the origins of the solar system, as only NASA can, with its missions of discovery. As the InSight spacecraft probes deep within the surface of the Red Planet, the story of Mars’ origins will unfold — sending real-time data back to Earth to reveal Mars’ long historical record, hidden for eons under its rocky surface.


This crucial information will be disseminated through various platforms, such as mobile applications, social media, videos and podcasts, and visualization programs — reaching students in both informal and formal education settings. Go here: Another Chance to Put Your Name on Mars




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