NASA tests parachute for Mars mission

NASA is under way with testing equipment for its InSight mission to Mars. The latest tests were of a parachute that will slow the lander as it descends on to the Red Planet.

Tests were carried out inside the world’s largest wind tunnel, at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California, in February 2015. The tunnel is 24 metres high and 37 metres wide. 

InSight, for Interior Exploration Using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport, is scheduled to launch in March 2016 and land on Mars in September 2016.  The lander will investigate the deep interior of Mars to gain information about how rocky planets, including Earth, formed and evolved. 

Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, is building the InSight spacecraft, while the Project is managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, for the NASA Science Mission Directorate, Washington.

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Spacecraft specialists in a clean room at Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, are working on NASA’s InSight spacecraft in this January 2015 scene from the mission’s assembly and testing phase.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/Lockheed Martin

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