NASA calls off next Mars mission

Blue skies on Mars. That’s a new one. -Total Recall, 1986

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NASA's InSight Mars lander spacecraft in a Lockheed Martin clean room near Denver. As part of a series of deployment tests, the spacecraft was commanded to deploy its solar arrays in the clean room to test and verify the exact process that it will use on the surface of Mars. NASA’s InSight Mars lander spacecraft in a Lockheed Martin clean room near Denver.

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/nasa-cancels-launch-of-next-mars-probe/news-story/2b508a40c1bedee7b56e1b0158b7161b

NASA is calling off its next mission to Mars because there isn’t enough time to fix a leaky seal on a key science instrument.

The InSight spacecraft was set for launch in March.

The problem is in a seal around the lander’s seismometer, which was designed to measure ground movement on the red planet.

NASA managers and French designers of the instrument said on Tuesday they must now decide whether the leak in the vacuum-sealed connector needs to be repaired, redesigned or the mission scrapped.

The next opportunity to launch the InSight lander is in May 2018 since the best chances of launching missions between Earth and Mars occur for just a few weeks every 26 months.

“We’re close enough to launch but, unfortunately, we don’t have enough time to try to identify the leak, fix…

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