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InSight to Mars: Br. Macke (Vatican Observatory), “important step for understanding the Red Planet”

“If we wish to learn new things, we must always be seeking new ways to explore”. Jesuit Brother Robert Macke, Curator of Meteorites and Astronomer at the Vatican Observatory, said this in an interview with SIR news agency about the InSight probe mission to Mars led by NASA: “This is an important step for understanding the Red Planet, and takes exploration of Mars in a new direction with novel instruments and fresh eyes looking at the planet”. Br. Macke also stressed that “while there have been many robotic missions to Mars over the past decades, most have focused on the planet’s surface geology, atmosphere, evidence of water, and exploring the question about the possibility of life”. InSight “is looking deeper into the planet; it carries devices designed to determine if the planet still has any geologic activity, what its interior is like, and how much heat it still retains. This will give us a better insight into the processes of planet formation in the solar system. What we learn from Mars – the Jesuit concluded – could potentially be applied to better understand other planets as well”.

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