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NASA's New Explorer Is On Its Way To Mars To Study Marsquakes

It'll use the planet's seismic waves to learn more about what's deep inside Mars.
Posted at 10:53 AM, May 05, 2018

NASA launched its next Mars explorer Saturday. This one's a bit different from previous missions to the red planet, though.

Instead of roving the planet and studying soil samples, InSight will stick to one place and study Mars' insides

NASA's hoping to learn more about so-called marsquakes. Despite the name, they're not exactly like earthquakes.

But the quakes do allow for similar studies of the Martian interior. Seismic waves can give scientists a good idea of what a planet is made of. 

And that could help NASA learn more about how rocky planets are formed. It might also have the added benefit of locating underground water where life could potentially be.

If everything goes according to plan, InSight will reach Mars' surface in late November. Its expected to operate for about two years.