A scientific instrument for InSight mission to Mars

Crisa is about to complete the development of the meteorological instrument which will go on board InSight, the future NASA mission to land on Mars. The instrument consists of two mast-shaped sensors that will measure the air temperature and the intensity and direction of the wind on the surface of Mars.

The development has benefited from the experience of Crisa in REMS environmental station, which is currently operating on board NASA’s Curiosity rover. The new instrument has some enhanced features, such as an optimized temperature range, more efficient thermal insulation that will lower the power consumption, and an improved calibration based on the experience gained with Curiosity.

One of the booms of TWINS instrument that will be boarded on NASA’s InSight mission.

The instrument, called TWINS (Temperature and Wind sensors for InSight mission), is a project of the Center for Astrobiology (CAB) for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) of NASA. The mission consists of a geophysical lander that will study the deep interior of Mars surface. By probing beneath the surface of Mars, InSight will search for the fingerprints of the processes of terrestrial planet formation and will measure any activity sign. The launch is scheduled for March 2016.

The lander InSight will study in 2016 the interior of Mars surface. Image courtesy of: NASA/JPL-Caltech