A Purdue planet expert shares Insight about NASA’s 'InSight Lander'

NASA's latest robot has successfully landed on Mars.The aptly named InSight Lander, will give scientists a new understanding of the planet.

Posted: Nov 26, 2018 6:14 PM
Updated: Nov 26, 2018 6:19 PM

WEST LAFAYETTE Ind. (WLFI) -- NASA's latest robot has successfully landed on Mars. The aptly named InSight Lander, will give scientists a new understanding of the planet.

Briony Horgan, Purdue Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary professor said this is the first time NASA has ever done research like this on a planet other than Earth.

“It's this really new look into the interior of Mars, you know, on Earth, we know a lot about the interior of Earth from Earthquakes and things like that to study the interior but we know almost nothing about the interior of Mars,” said Horgan.

InSight Lander was designed to measure the interior of Mars and look at how its formed and changed over time. The lander will look at the impact of marsquakes, which are similar to earthquakes. It will not only provide NASA with information on the planet's past but also how it could function in the future.

“Someday it would be great to put humans on Mars, not just to do science but to live there and that's kinda where I think a lot of this work is going,” said Horgan.

That wouldn't be anytime soon. Horgan said that science has come a long way but there's still much more to learn.

“So landing on Mars is tough and a lot of other countries haven't been successful. In fact, the U.S. is the only one to really have landed a successful mission that lasted a significant period of time on Mars,” said Horgan.

NASA plans to keep InSight on Mars forever. Horgan said the robot will be joined by a rover that NASA will be launching in 20-20. Horgan was chosen to be a participating scientist on that mission.

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