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NASA’s Next Mars Mission Has Been Grounded

posted: 12/22/15
by: Irene Klotz for Discovery News
Mars InSight Lander
NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA is calling off plans to launch a spacecraft to Mars that would use a seismometer and other instruments to learn what is happening in the planet's interior.

The spacecraft, called InSight, arrived at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California five days ago to be prepared for launch on March 18. Those plans came to a crashing halt on Tuesday when NASA announced that InSight is grounded.

"The decision follows unsuccessful attempts to repair an air leak on a key component of the mission's science payload," NASA said in a statement.

The French space agency CNES, which provided the seismometer, attempted to fix a leak in the instrument's vacuum canister, but apparently was unsuccessful.

Details will be discussed at a conference call with reporters this afternoon.

Read more about the InSight mission:

This article originally appeared on Discovery News

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