I’ve been interested in space exploration ever since I was a kid, and those of us who are thrilled by the possibility of advancing scientific knowledge of the solar system just got a pleasant surprise. In this time of tight budgets, and while Curiosity is still exploring the Martian surface, the Los Angeles Times reported that NASA is going back to Mars in 2016.
The new mission, Insight, will land a package of instruments capable of investigating the planet’s interior. It will take seismic readings and look for wobbles in the Martian orbit. It will try to determine whether the planet’s core is liquid or solid, and why, unlike earth, it has no tectonic plates. Most interestingly, it will dig into the planet to a depth of 16 feet.
No one knows what we’ll discover, but it’s almost guaranteed that the answers to the questions will be surprising. How surprising remains to be seen.