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NASA delays launch of Mars InSight lander
Posted: Thu, Dec 24, 2015, 6:12 PM ET (2312 GMT)
InSight lander illustration (NASA) NASA announced Tuesday that it was delaying the launch of its Mars InSight lander mission, previously planned for March, until at least mid-2018 because of problems with one of its key instruments. NASA said continued problems with one of the lander's main instruments, a seismometer supplied by the French space agency CNES, would prevent the mission from launching in March. The instrument experienced a series leaks in its vacuum chamber that would have kept it from working once on Mars, and NASA decided that, after the latest leak was found in testing Monday, the instrument could not be ready in time for launch. The next launch window is in May 2018, but NASA said it would study potential solutions to the instrument problem and their costs before making a decision on when, or even if, to launch the mission.
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