Parachute Testing For NASA’s InSight Mission

The parachute for NASA's InSight Mars mission being tested in a wind tunnel. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Lockheed Martin

The parachute for NASA’s InSight Mars mission being tested in a wind tunnel. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Lockheed Martin

May 28, 2015 – This parachute testing for NASA’s InSight mission to Mars was conducted inside the world’s largest wind tunnel, at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California, in February 2015.

The wind tunnel is 80 feet (24 meters) tall and 120 feet (37 meters) wide. It is part of the National Full-Scale Aerodynamics Complex, operated by the Arnold Engineering Development Center of the U.S. Air Force.

InSight, for Interior Exploration Using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport, is scheduled to launch in March 2016 and land on Mars in September 2016. The lander will investigate the deep interior of Mars to gain information about how rocky planets, including Earth, formed and evolved.

Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, is building the InSight spacecraft. The InSight Project is managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, for the NASA Science Mission Directorate, Washington. InSight is part of NASA’s Discovery Program, which is managed by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.