Lockheed Helps NASA Test Solar Arrays for Mars Lander

NASA and Lockheed Martin have evaluated the solar arrays of a future Mars robotic lander technology inside a clean room at the company’s facility in Littleton, Colorado.

The space agency said Tuesday its Jet Propulsion Laboratory led the InSight evaluation process wherein the platform deployed its solar arrays while in a landed configuration to test the actual process to be used on the red planet’s surface during the exploration mission.

“We’ll study its pulse by ‘listening’ for marsquakes with a seismometer. We’ll take its temperature with a heat probe. And we’ll check its reflexes with a radio experiment,” said Bruce Banerdt, principal investigator for the InSight mission.

Banerdt added Lockheed engineers also installed a microchip which features the names of 1.6 million people on the robotic Mars lander as a means to make the the public feel more invested on the exploration mission.

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