NASA announced on Monday, 19 May, that the Curiosity and Opportunity Mars Rovers will be accompanied by a third rover after they receive the approval of constructing the new Mars rover along with its global partners.
The new rover, NASA's Interior Exploration Using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) is set to launch in March, 2016 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Other agencies such as French Space Agency, German Space Agency and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology along with members from Austria, Canada, Belgium, Spain and the UK will be involved in the new project.
The InSight rover will be equipped with robotic arms, along with two new instruments: the Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure and the Heat Flow and Physical Properties package. The InSight rover will be in Mars for 720 days mission and will provide information with the help of its new tools.
The rover will be designed to drill beneath the Mars' surface and investigate its deep interior for better understanding related to the evolution of the planet. NASA believes that with the new rover, more information about the inner structures of Mars can be collected. This will also aid in collecting all information required to know about the planet, before the 2030 mission to the Mars begins.
"Our partners across the globe have made significant progress in getting to this point and are fully prepared to deliver their hardware to system integration starting this November, which is the next major milestone for the project. We now move from doing the design and analysis to building and testing the hardware and software that will get us to Mars and collect the science that we need to achieve mission success." said Tom Hoffman, InSight project manager of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in a news release.