NASA decided to continue working with the Insight mission to Mars. The launch of the spacecraft is currently scheduled for May 2018.
The device missed the opportunity to launch this month due to a slight leakage in its main scientific instrument, the seismometer, which is designed to study the deep interior of Mars.
NASA returned the apparatus for inspection at the end of December after the vacuum chamber of the seismometer sensor housing failed the leak test.
“The desire to explore the interior of Mars was a long-standing goal of planetary scientists,” said John Gransfeld, NASA Administrator Assistant for Science, in a statement. “But we are glad we returned to the launch process.” The agency stated that they are considering how to repair and delay the launch. So far, according to scientists, it turns out about $ 150 million.
The exact launch date will be known in August when NASA selects a new launch vehicle. The Atlas-5, prepared for the flight, was assigned to another ship.
The insight will be put into storage near Denver while a vacuum chamber is being developed for the seismometer.