A few days ago, NASA announced that, due to a vacuum leak in one of the instruments, they would have to delay InSight's launch for about two years. This is longer than it would take to fix the instrument, but they have to wait for Mars's orbit to line up with Earth's again.

I was wondering if anybody knew if NASA has any plans at this point to tinker with the craft's payload or design, since they now have two more years to work on it. I have not seen any news articles saying this, but I doubt that they would give up this extra time.


1 Answer 1


The NASA press release contains the details. Specifically, they state:

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, will redesign, build and conduct qualifications of the new vacuum enclosure for the Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS), the component that failed in December.

Aside from that, no changes are planned, at least, that have publicly been announced. I suspect they will do more testing, fix a few minor issues that they would have flown with, maybe do some software updates, but overall that they won't do any major hardware changes. 2 years just isn't long enough to do that effectively.

  • $\begingroup$ I read the press release, and understand that all they mentioned was changing that particular instrument. I was just wondering if anyone knew if they might be considering more. $\endgroup$
    – Phiteros
    Mar 10, 2016 at 21:18
  • $\begingroup$ @Phiteros They won't. Payload gets fixed many years before launch. $\endgroup$
    – gerrit
    Mar 11, 2016 at 18:59

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