CNES projects library

November 27, 2018


InSight (INterior exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) is a mission of NASA’s Discovery Program. This mission deployed a geophysical lander on Mars to study the planet’s deep interior and gain new understanding of how rocky planets form.

InSight aims to study Mars’ deep interior structure using a geophysical station deployed from a fixed lander to better understand the mechanisms that shaped the rocky planets in our solar system. Using the SEIS seismometer (Seismic Experiment for Interior Structures), it measures Mars’ tectonic activity to learn more about its structure, for example the size of its core and the thickness of its mantle. Meteorite impacts are also analysed by measuring seismic waves. The Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package (HP3) gauges the planet’s cooling rate in order to retrace its thermal history. And the RISE instrument (Rotation and Interior Structure Experiment) acquires precise measurements of the Red Planet’s rotation.

InSight landed on Mars on 26 November 2018 for a 2-year mission. CNES is overseeing development of the SEIS instrument in partnership with the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris (IPGP), SODERN (EADS Group), the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS), Imperial College London and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). InSight is the 12th mission of the Discovery Program.