The United States and France are planning to collaborate for a new Mars mission being planned for 2016. The agreement between the two nations was signed by the NASA admin and CNES president Jean-Yves Le Gall on Monday in Washington. According to Bolden, this milestone agreement will strengthen the aeronautics partnership between the two premier space research organizations of the U.S. and France. This agreement will take forward a partnership that goes back over two decades.
Shortly after signing the agreement, Bolden also said that the data gathered via this Mars mission will enable the two agencies to gain further insights into the early stages of the formation of planet Mars. This information will in turn help researchers understand how planet earth evolved in its early stages.
The Mars lander that will be used as a part of this project is being called InSight (Interior Exploration Using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy, and Heat Transport).
In addition to experts from France and the U.S. this project will also feature on its team an array of other researchers from countries such as Switzerland, Spain, Poland, Canada, Belgium, Germany, and Austria among others.
As part of this project, researchers aim to study the tectonic activity on Mars and the impact that meteorites have had on its surface. Researchers will achieve this by installing a special instrument for measuring seismic activity that has been developed by CNES. The instrument is called Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure instrument (SEIS). The instrument will help scientists and researchers record the seismic waves that move around through the core of Mars, so as to understand the composition and structure of the planet better.