Artist rendition of the InSight (Interior exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) Lander. InSight is based on the proven Phoenix Mars spacecraft and lander design with state-of-the-art avionics from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory missions.
InSight 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.
InSight is a partnership involving JPL, Lockheed Martin Space Systems, the French Space Agency (CNES), the German Aerospace Center (DLR), and other NASA centers.
For more information, see http://insight.jpl.nasa.gov/.
Photojournal Note: After thorough examination, NASA managers have decided to suspend the planned March 2016 launch of the Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) mission. The decision follows unsuccessful attempts to repair a leak in a section of the prime instrument in the science payload.