Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport 
InSight lander - Credits JPL/NASA
Credits JPL/NASA

Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure 
INSIGHT is a mission of NASA's Discovery Program
The main objectives of INSIGHT is to study the deep interior of Mars.
SEIS, HP³, RISE, Cameras
Lifetime: two years

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The project main steps


INSIGHT (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) is a mission of NASA's Mars Discovery Program. Set to launch in 2016, the mission will place a single geophysical lander on Mars to study its deep interior.

InSight's primary objective is to uncover how a rocky body forms and evolves to become a planet by studying the size, thickness, density and overall structure of the Red Planet's core, mantle and crust, as well as the rate at which heat escapes from the planet's interior. The mission's secondary objective is to conduct an in-depth study of tectonic activity and meteorite impacts on Mars, both of which could provide valuable knowledge about such processes on Earth.

The mission is led by W. Bruce Banerdt of JPL. InSight's science team includes U.S. and international co-investigators from universities, industry and government agencies.

To achieve each of its scientific objectives, the lander InSight will have two scientific instruments:

  • Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS), provided by the French Space Agency (CNES), with the participation of the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris (IPGP) and of the Institut Supérieur de l'Aéronautique et de l'Espace (ISAE), the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS), Imperial College and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).
  • Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package (HP³), provided by the German Space Agency (DLR).

In addition, the Rotation and Interior Structure Experiment (RISE), led by JPL, will use the spacecraft communication system to provide precise measurements of planetary rotation. Insight will also incorporate two cameras and a robotic arm that will serve to guide the deployment of the instruments to the ground.

CNES insures, for all national partners (laboratories), the prime contractorship for the French instrument contribution to INSIGHT.

Latest update 03/04/2015
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INSIGHT Mission movie
INSIGHT Mission animation
(~ 331.5 Mb, MOV format)
Credits JPL/NASA
The SEIS Qualification Model was delivered to ATLO the last 2 weeks. The end-to-end tests went smoothly and conclude this very important step. That makes us confident for the Flight Model!
Single Site on Mars Advanced for NASA Lander INSIGHT
System Integration Review passed successfully for SEIS
Construction to Begin on 2016 NASA Mars Lander
CNES and NASA set to go to Mars together
SEIS seismometer central to the InSight mission

Insight: a sismometer in the wind © CNES (in French)