Amid ambitious plans to one day colonize Mars and even make its atmosphere compatible with human life, some scientists want to merely study the red planet's structure first. A new upcoming NASA Mars lander called InSight will be equipped to study "marsquakes," reports Space.com online media platform. The information, received from the quake waves will help scientists study the structure and composition of the planet's crust, mantle and even core.
Bruce Banerdt, from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, compares the lander craft's mission to a CT scan of the planet, claiming it will allow not only the study of the planet's current structure, but also understand how that structure formed. Normally such measurements require three devices to triangulate the source of the waves, but Banerdt is confident that by using a smart approach, their device can work on its own, although it will require some time. The lander will function for approximately two Earth years after its planned landing in November 2018.
A similar mission was launched in the late 1970s, but the equipment for studying seismic activity was poorly prepared to do so on Mars and its results were mostly useless. Banerdt has called it "a handicapped experiment."