Mars InSight in Photos: NASA's Mission to Probe Core of the Red Planet

InSight Mars Lander Delivers Drill


A drill is lowered onto the Martian surface by NASA's new InSight Mars Lander to study the planet's interior in this animation still.

Testing of NASA’s Mars InSight Lander

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Lockheed Martin

The solar arrays on NASA's InSight Mars lander are deployed during a test on April 30, 2015 inside a clean room at a Lockheed Martin Space Systems facility in Denver. InSight had been scheduled to launch in March 2016, but a problem with an instrument means the lander won’t launch until mid-2018, if it gets off the ground at all.

NASA's InSight Mars lander

Lockheed Martin

NASA's InSight Mars lander has just undergone nearly two weeks of thermal vacuum testing that mimics the brutal environment of space.

Leonard David and InSight

Barbara David's Leonard David — suited up, complete with a beard mask — on the floor with NASA's Mars-bound InSight spacecraft.

Mars Interior


Artist's concept of the interior of Mars shows a hot liquid core that is about one-half the radius of the planet. The core is mostly made of iron with some possible lighter elements such as sulfur. The mantle is the darker material between the core and the thin crust.

Internal Depths for Earth, Mars and Moon

This diagram shows the depths at which high pressures cause certain minerals to transform to higher-density crystal structures inside Earth, Mars and the moon.

This diagram shows the depths at which high pressures cause certain minerals to transform to higher-density crystal structures inside Earth, Mars and the moon.

About the Mission

Bill Ingalls/NASA

As part of a pre-landing briefing, Bruce Banerdt, InSight Principal Investigaor, NASA JPL, discusses the lander at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Insight Mars 2018

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Lockheed Martin

Technicians lift the lander portion of the InSight spacecraft for testing in a clean room facility in Littleton, Colorado. The probe is set to launch to Mars in May 2018.

InSight Mars Lander in Back Shell

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Lockheed Martin

NASA's InSight Mars lander is seen inside the back shell of its protective aeroshell during spacecraft assembly in July 2015.

Insight Mars Lander Preparations

Leonard David/Inside Outer Space

Busy builders of spacecraft missions. Lockheed Martin technicians are readying asteroid mission in a large ultra-clean room (foreground) as workers prepare the Insight Mars lander — in background — that will head for the Red Planet in 2016.

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