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US, France sign deal for 2016 Mars lander InSight

Published on Feb 11, 2014 9:46 AM
 
The surface of Mars seen from a Nasa space rover in Feb 2014. The United States and France unveiled plans to send an unmanned lander to study the deep interior of the dry, dusty planet. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP 

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States and France on Monday unveiled plans to collaborate on a new Mars mission, two years after Nasa withdrew from a European partnership to send a probe and lander to the Red Planet.

The project aims to send an unmanned lander to study the deep interior of the dry, dusty planet that is Earth's neighbour, and will be called InSight, short for the Interior Exploration Using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy, and Heat Transport.

The agreement was signed by Nasa Administrator Charles Bolden and Jean-Yves Le Gall, president of the National Centre of Space Studies of France (CNES) at the Mandarin Hotel in Washington.

The mission is scheduled to launch in March 2016 and would arrive on Mars six months later.

 
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