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6) Discuss about the NASA’S InSight mission on Mars?(250 words)

Topic – Awareness in the fields of Space.

6) Discuss about the NASA’S InSight mission on Mars?(250 words)

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Why this question

The landing of InSight on Mars is a significant development in the field of space technology. In the past, UPSC has asked about such space mission, like the question on Juno and thus this event needs to be prepared.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to explain about the InSight mission, discuss its objectives and explain about its significance.

Directive word

Discuss – The discussion herein, should revolve around the key demand of the question.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Highlight the current event due to which InSight is in news.

Body

  • Explain about the InSight mission
    • Mars Insight’s goal is to listen for quakes and tremors as a way to unveil the Red Planet’s inner mysteries, how it formed billions of years ago, and by extension, how other rocky planets like the earth took shape.
    • The unmanned spacecraft, launched nearly seven months ago, is NASA’s first to attempt to touch down on Mars since the Curiosity rover arrived in 2012.
    • More than half of 43 attempts to reach Mars with rovers, orbiters and probes by space agencies from around the world have failed.
    • NASA is the only space agency to have made it, and is invested in these missions as a way to prepare for the first Mars­bound human explorers in the 2030s.
    • InSight (Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport) is on a 24-month mission. The landing site is Elysium Planitia, where InSight can stay still and quiet all through.
  • Discuss its objectives – InSight won’t be looking for life on Mars. It will study its insides — what it’s made of, how that material is layered and how much heat seeps out of it. This is important because Earth and Mars used to be similar — warm, wet and shrouded in thick atmospheres — before they took different paths 3-4 billion years ago. Mars stopped changing, while Earth continued to evolve. With InSight, scientists hope to compare Earth to Mars, and better understand how a planet’s starting materials make it more or less likely to support life.
  • Explain why it is significant

Conclusion – Highlight that this is a major development and would help us enrich our knowledge about the solar system and conditions necessary for formation of life.